The University of the Free State Shimlas will be looking to bounce back next week Monday when they face the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Madibaz in their final round-robin game of the 2017 Varsity Cup.
The team suffered another heavy defeat on Monday evening with a 65-19 loss to the leaders after round seven, the University of Pretoria Tuks.
The previous week the team lost 60-12 to the University of Stellenbosch Maties. Both these matches were played at the Toyota Stadium, instead of their home ground, Shimla Park, on the campus.
The team leaked nine tries on Monday evening and have been heavily criticized for their display, however, it is important to remember that this is a very young side that hasn’t gone through the motions over the past two years as is the case with Maties and Tuks.
Injuries are never an excuse, however, losing two fly-halves during their win over the North West University Pukke, was a major blow to the side, as it would be to any other team in world rugby.
Injuries to several other key players have seen the side struggling in their last two games, however, there is still a chance to make the play-offs with a solid win against the Madibaz and favours from the other teams during the final round, in which the men in royal blue will enjoy a bye.
Speaking to Courant following their loss to the side from the Jacaranda City, the seasoned winger, Marco Mason, said they are taking the losses on the chin and promise to go down fighting.
“Our backs are truly against the wall, but we are still a dangerous team.
“We will come back and we won’t surrender.
“I think we will reflect on what happened, gather ourselves and return to training and train harder”.
The Shimlas face the Madibaz on Monday evening at the Toyota Stadium with kick-off at 18:30.
Round 8 Fixtures:
16:45 UJ vs. Wits – Johannesburg (TV); 18:30 CUT Ixias vs. Maties – CUT Park; 18:30 Shimlas vs. NMMU Madibaz – Toyota Stadium; 19:00 Tuks vs. UCT Ikeys – Pretoria (TV); NWU Pukke – bye. – MORGAN PIEK