Varsity Cup Defending Champs Maties Say First Game Will Set 2024 Season Benchmark

Maties will be looking to retain their title as champions of the FNB Varsity Cup Women’s tournament when they kick off their 2024 campaign against the University of KwaZulu-Natal, at the Howard College Stadium in Durban on Friday. Photo: Varsity Cup

Maties will be looking to successfully retain their title as champions of the FNB Varsity Cup Women’s tournament when they kick off their campaign against UKZN at the Howard College Stadium in Durban on Friday, 22 March, 2024. 

According to Maties head coach Johann Zeier, nobody knew what to expect from the competition last year, but it was great for the development of the game. 

“Yes, we had no idea what the intensity or speed of the women’s game would be. This year we are kind of preparing for the same. We don’t know what to expect because we don’t know to what level people have upped their game.” 

Zeier admits Maties were not able to retain all their players from last year, because a lot of the ladies have either graduated or finished their studies, whilst some went to overseas clubs and others just finished playing rugby. 

“It’s a mixed bag of reasons, but some of them have just moved on. We have retained some of the ladies, but we have had to start quite fresh with a bit of a newer squad. If you look at it in terms of three-year phases, I would say we are now in year one with the average age being a lot lower in our squad this year.”

Zeier believes the big challenge this year will be that they have no idea how opposing teams have developed.  

“It’s quite difficult to tell. So we are just trying to focus on ourselves and try to be as prepared as we can be for the game. We have been through quite a tough pre-season. It was longer than last year and the players’ workload was much more.  

“The preparation has been quite demanding and the ladies have done well to get through it. I think we are in a good place at the moment.” 

“Our first game will give us a benchmark as to where we stand with regards to the rest of the competition.” 

Fixtures for the FNB 2024 Womens Varsity Cup Rounds 1-3

14:00 Fri, Mar 22: UKZN v Maties (Howard College Stadium, UKZN)
15:00 Fri, Mar 22: UJ  v UWC (UJ Stadium)
16:30 Thu, Apr 4: UFH v UJ (Davidson Stadium – UFH)
16:30 Fri, Apr 5: Maties v Tuks (Danie Craven Stadium, University of Stellenbosch)
12:30 Fri, Apr 12: UWC v UFH (UWC Sports Stadium)
12:30 Fri, Apr 12: Tuks v UKZN (Tuks Stadium – UP Tuks)


Original Copy: Varsity Cup, with editing by gsport

Photo Caption: Maties will be looking to retain their title as champions of the FNB Varsity Cup Women’s tournament when they kick off their 2024 campaign against the University of KwaZulu-Natal, at the Howard College Stadium in Durban on Friday. Photo: Varsity Cup

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