Perdeby spoke to team captain Reniel Hugo about how he felt about the whole season and how well the team has done in Pote Human’s first year as coach of the side.
What was your message to the team in build-up to the Carlton Cup final?
We knew it was going to be tough. In a final you get limited chances to get points so my message was that when we get an opportunity to get points we have to convert.
What changes did the coach make or what did the team do differently to ensure that you were able to beat Police in both the top four phase and in the final?
After that loss [against Pretoria Police in the first round] we as a team got together and decided for ourselves that this season is in our hands. We weren’t playing as a team but since that loss we started to play much more as a team and that’s because of our brotherhood and friendships we formed within the team environment.
Your blindside flank got a red card early in the game. Had the coach devised a contingency plan in case something like that happened?
That card inspired each one of us even more. Not one guy in the team believed for a moment that we were going to lose that game and every single guy lifted his game by 10%.
What are your thoughts on the season as a whole and how the team progressed as the season unfolded?
It was an awesome season. The friendships that were made throughout this year in the team is enormous. We were really like one big family and played for each other. We won three out of a potential four trophies. It was at the USSA tournament that we as team started to peak and find rhythm with big wins against other top universities.
What has it been like to play under Pote Human? Do you think his track record gave UP-Tuks 1 an advantage over the teams you faced during the season?
Coach Pote is a phenomenal person. Every single player in the club has the utmost respect for him. He wanted us to go out, enjoy ourselves and not for a moment worry if you do something wrong. He gave us freedom to play and to express our abilities. Not only is he an excellent coach but also a mentor who taught us lessons in life as well. He will have many more successes at Tuks.
With the end of the season, are you going to continue playing for Tuks or have you been approached by other teams?
I am contracted with the bulls next year so I will still be in Pretoria. There is definitely a chance that I will represent Tuks in the Varsity Cup.
Image: Reniel Hugo’s twitter account