Covid-19 wreaked havoc with Ixias preparation

Niell Stannard of the CUT Ixias during their round five defeat to the UCT Ikeys in the Varsity Cup. PHOTO: VARSITY CUP Photo: Christiaan Kotze/ Varsity

The Central University of Technology Ixias coach, Pieter Bergh, is worried that his team may not be well enough prepared for their all-important Varsity Cup match against the University of the Western Cape on Thursday afternoon.

The Ixias were one of four teams that did not play in round seven of the competition due to positive Covid-19 cases, hence their match against the North-West University Eagles was postponed until next week.

The Ixias, who were early contenders to reach at least the semi-finals, will dive straight into round eight, when they will be tackling the tricky and underrated Udubs.

Initially the Ixias welcomed their extended break between the second and third bio-bubbles in order to have more time to prepare.

However, with no less than 13 positive Covid-19 cases within their playing group, the team was unable to prepare over the past two and half weeks, and they managed to get in just two training sessions.

The Ixias’ progression to the knockout rounds all depends on how well they do in the third bubble, and a win against the team from Bellville is imperative.
Bergh told Bloemfontein Courant that they will certainly be well-rested, but he is worried about their readiness.

“We’ve had thirteen positives cases within our playing group and we had to isolate for most of the time. We couldn’t actually train properly. We are going into the UWC game with only two training sessions in the last two and a half weeks.

“Having said that, we do have a lot of confidence, so even though we haven’t trained a lot, the guys are mentally fresh and they are ready to go.”

Thursday afternoon’s game between the Ixias and Udubs at the LC de Villiers Stadium kicks off at 17:00. – MORGAN PIEK