Hawies okay with Maties being targets
IF the Super League A title race was the WWE Royal Rumble, commentator Jerry “The King” Lawler would have gone wild with the late entry of Maties.
Flying under the radar and having played only five league matches, the students will finally enter the ring to defend their title when they face log leaders False Bay in Constantia today.
Their clash at the Phillip Herbstein Stadium could decide who will lift the trophy at the end of the season.
With both teams still unbeaten, it’s the Bay who have momentum on their side having played twice as many games as the men from Stellenbosch. They beat Durbell 33-27 last weekend, while Maties have not yet played a club match since the June break.
Still unbeaten under coach Hawies Fourie in the club competition this year, Maties know they have a huge bulls-eye on their back. “Every team in the WP club competition will definitely be proud of themselves if they can beat Maties, and that does put a bit of added pressure and responsibility on us,” Fourie said.
“I’ve been on the other side of the fence before and I know what it means for a club to beat Maties. False Bay are the current log leaders and will definitely be title-contenders come the end of August. They have a very strong pack and an outstanding defence.
“Teams generally lift their intensity and effort when they face us and we will need to be focused and switched on if we want to beat False Bay in their own backyard,” he added.
Having played considerably fewer games less than the Bay, Fourie insists that his side won’t be undercooked this weekend. “We played in the USSA tournament in East London at the start of the month and lost to Tukkies in the final,” he said.
“We played three games in five days over there... (and) are about to play nine matches in the next five weeks. It is a tough schedule, but we are wellprepared.”
And Fourie believes Maties will go from strength to strength. “We haven’t played as well as we wanted to in the club competition thus far. We will have to make a step up in our intensity and execution on attack,” he said.
“Not getting a bonus point in our win against Brackenfell might also be crucial come the end of the season.”