It’s been a rocky start to the season for UP-Tuks in the Varsity Cup rugby tournament. The recent postponement of the tournament will certainly give teams the opportunity to head back to the drawing board and assess their performances so far, and possibly make the necessary changes to improve their chances of the title.
Perdeby spoke to UP-Tuks captain Ruan Steenkamp about the way forward for UP-Tuks.
In the game against Pukke you found yourselves trailing by 25 points at one stage, and the players looked rather deflated. Do you think the new point-scoring system takes away from the competitiveness of the game?
I am not a big fan of the new point system. I think it can work to a team’s advantage and to [a] very bad disadvantage. So my honest opinion is [that] it takes away the competitiveness; one or two lucky tries from your own half and your opponents play catch-up rugby.
UP-Tuks has yet to win a match under the new points system. Does the new system work in favour of your playing style as a team?
I can’t say that the new system does not [or cannot] necessarily fit our way of playing, but it has most definitely counted against us in the competition so far.
Do you prefer the old traditional scoring system as opposed to the new one, and why? Yes I do, because you know you have to work hard at the element of both attack and defence. No matter how great or poor your attempt [at] scoring, there is the possibility of a set seven points.
This is the worst recorded start to a Varsity Cup campaign by UP-Tuks. Is it entirely due to the new scoring system or a lack of execution from the team?
We don’t have any excuses. As a team we have struggled to pull [through] together. Poor execution [of our game plan] has also played a role [in our performance so far].
Do you think the team can still qualify for the playoffs?
Yes, we still can. We are working hard as a team with the firm belief that we can make it.
What will the team be doing in the interim to come back fighting in their remaining matches?
It is very frustrating at the moment, not knowing whether Varsity Cup will return or not. But we are going to train as if it were game week every week to ensure we will be ready, should Varsity Cup continue. If a team uses this time to work on their weaknesses, they can return stronger.