Ac­co­lades for Madibaz flank

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - SPORT -

FNB MADIBAZ flank Bran­don (Henry) Brown is play­ing some of the best rugby of his ca­reer as he strives to make an im­pact on the Var­sity Cup, his achieve­ments recog­nised with ac­co­lades in two suc­ces­sive matches.

The 23-year-old eco­nomics masters stu­dent, who lives in Man­gold Park in Port El­iz­a­beth, was voted the Player that Rocks against Wits and NWU-Pukke, a notable achieve­ment given that he was on the los­ing side in both games.

It is an in­di­ca­tion of how Brown, who was chris­tened Henry but is widely known as Bran­don, is en­joy­ing his rugby and he says his con­fi­dence has grown since he turned out for the EP Kings U21 side in 2012.

“I think my play has def­i­nitely im­proved over the last few years, learn­ing how to op­er­ate in the break­down area and to cre­ate in­ter­play with the backs,” the for­mer Grey High pupil said.

“I am re­ally en­joy­ing be­ing given the free­dom to play in the outer chan­nels from time to time and to work with the back­line play­ers.”

Ac­knowl­edg­ing that it was a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence to be voted Player that Rocks twice, he quickly added that it was the team re­sult that was of greater im­por­tance.

“It’s nice to be recog­nised like that, but it’s a pity it came when we were on the wrong side of the score­board,” Brown said. “We are fo­cused only on get­ting a win for the team and it’s some­thing we will con­tinue to fight for.”

Madibaz have yet to record a win in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion. They have suf­fered some close losses, but were well beaten in Jo­han­nes­burg on Mon­day against the high-rid­ing Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg out­fit.

“We ad­mit­ted where we went wrong and com­mit­ted our­selves to fix­ing this in train­ing,” Brown said.

Madibaz will be at home for their next game on Mon­day when they take on log lead­ers Stel­len­bosch at the Madibaz Sta­dium at 6.30pm.

While a tough rear­guard ac­tion faces the team, Brown, who has also turned out for the EP Kings se­nior team, is happy to be in­volved and in­jury-free after suf­fer­ing a frus­trat­ing pe­riod ear­lier in his ca­reer.

“I had two se­ri­ous in­juries to my left knee in 2013 and 2014, so I spent a lot of time in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion,” he said.

Hav­ing had a taste of rugby at se­nior pro­vin­cial level, Brown said he would like to re­turn to that level once he fin­ishes at var­sity. “My fo­cus now is just on the Var­sity Cup, but I would like to progress to try to play com­pe­ti­tions such as the Su­per­Sport Chal­lenge, the Cur­rie Cup and PRO14, and pos­si­bly even Su­per Rugby.”

ROCK­ING PRAISE: Bran­don (Henry) Brown of the Madibaz has twice been named Player that Rocks in Var­sity Cup matches

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