UJ rugby coach keeps feet on the ground
University of Johannesburg rugby coach Werner Janse van Rensburg is not getting carried away by his team’s results despite an impressive turnaround in the Varsity Cup.
After losing the first two matches, UJ have put themselves back into contention for the play-offs with three wins on the trot.
Their most recent result saw them hold off a strong challenge from NMMU-Madibaz, with wing Aphiwe Dyanti earning the Player That Rocks award.
They will be aiming to continue that form against UCT in Cape Town on Monday, but Janse van Rensburg said they knew there were no guarantees.
“It’s very simple to keep our feet on the ground because the history of this competition has shown that any team can win on any given Monday,” the UJ mentor said.
“So our wins in the last three weeks will mean nothing to UCT in their preparations as they will believe that they can win.
“As it is an away game nothing but our best will be good enough to get us over the line. Ikeys have ample fighting spirit and Monday will be no different.”
Janse van Rensburg added they would not be looking too far ahead in the competition.
“For instance, our focus now is just to be as good as we can in our next training session in preparation for the match.”
He said the victories they had achieved after their slow start had instilled a sense of self-belief in the squad.
“We have been growing as a team and had some luck, but ultimately we have executed our skills more accurately and been more consistent.
“The momentum we have gained has helped because confidence in the system is slowly spreading to everyone in the team.”
The UJ coach said he had adopted a sense of realism in his coaching philosophy, understanding that you could not win all the time.
“The first reality is that you will lose at some stage,” he said. “It has not been a case of doubting, but rather understanding where we are as a new team and trying to learn from our mistakes.
“The quicker this happened the quicker we knew it would translate into some good results.”
Janse van Rensburg pinpointed their teamwork as the underlying principle behind their success.
“But, in addition, loose forwards Driaan Bester and Len Massyn have really stepped up well with the ball in hand as well as in defence.
“Captain and hooker Jannes Snyman has contributed in the physical exchanges and the backs have shown some good progression on attack.”
Caption: University of Johannesburg wing Aphiwe Dyanti showed good form to be named the Player That Rocks in their Varsity Cup rugby match against NMMU-Madibaz this week. Photo: Saspa