Team bond underpinned UJ’s success
After two early losses, FNB University of Johannesburg captain Jannes Snyman said a strong sense of brotherhood in the team enabled them to qualify for the Varsity Cup semifinals.
The UJ outfit lost their first two games against reigning champions NWU-Pukke and 2015 holders Shimlas, but then turned their fortunes around with five wins in a row to finish third on the final log.
This has earned them a semifinal shot against the second-placed Maties team, to be played in Stellenbosch on Monday.
Looking back on their season, Snyman said it was their overall cohesion and a sense of camaraderie that contributed towards the team’s reform.
The 23-year-old hooker said they knew they would have to change things after those opening losses – 16-12 against Pukke and 47-29 to Shimlas.
“To do that, we needed to come together and start playing as a team,” said Snyman.
“When we lost those games, it was definitely a lowlight, but it created a strong bond in the squad.”
The fact that they managed to claw their way back to qualify for the play-offs supported Snyman’s belief that anything was possible.
Although they face a daunting task against the in-form Maties team, who defeated them in the final league game this week, the skipper felt their attitude could make the difference.
“When you lose two games to come back and qualify for the semifinals, it really makes you feel that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
Snyman, a final year logistics management student, said he had really enjoyed the season with UJ.
“I think it is because of the closeness we have as a team.
“We need to remain focused and continue to train hard as I would really like to reach the finals for the first time with UJ and hopefully have some great memories which I’ll be able to look back on.”
The log-leading Tuks team will play Shimlas in the other semifinal on Monday.
Caption: Hooker Jannes Snyman will lead the FNB University of Johannesburg in their Varsity Cup semifinal against Maties in Stellenbosch on Monday. Photo: Saspa