I know that it’s still early days, but that will not stop me from ruling out UP-Tuks as the team that will win the tournament. It’s an open secret that Tuks are slow starters but what we witnessed in their opening game against their arch rivals TUT, left a bitter taste in my mouth.
We were subjected to mediocrity at its best. Tuks were lethargic and didn’t even have a Plan B, not to mention C. That is just how bad they were as they didn’t even bother to raise their game. Of course it’s still early days, but it will require a huge turn around in fortune for the boys from Hatfield to win this year’s title.
They buried their heads in the sand after such a dismal performance against their neighbours. The gap between TUT and Tuks is narrowing quickly and before Tuks know it TUT will be on their way to another Varsity Football title.
It’s understandable that Tuks have made a couple of changes to their squad due to the under-25 age restrictions or graduation purposes, but their first half showing was nothing short of a disaster. No shots on target, no purpose; they played like headless chickens. They were like cows coming home to roost.
Jeremiah “Free-kick magician” Nkwana, has lost his Midas touch too. Credit to him for losing weight as demanded by Bafana Bafana legend Shaun Bartlett, but he ran around like a lost puppy on the pitch. Nkwana is supposed to carry the team in his tiny shoulders, but the responsibility seems too big for him to carry. We are tired of the ‘slow starters’ excuses. Proof is in the pudding and Tuks didn’t just let the fans down on the opening day, they let the neutrals down too.
Yes, anyone can lose a football game, but it’s how they lost that boggles the mind. In truth they didn’t even deserve to score that late consolation goal. It made the score suggest that it was a tight game when in fact it wasn’t even close. The scoreboard was not a true reflection of the game.
TUT were head and shoulders above Tuks. They dominated from the onset and should have embarrassed them in front of the cameras had it not been for the lack of converting the numerous chances that they created in front of goal. Apart from the Tuks captain Njokwana, every one of the players were nothing but passengers on the pitch.
Winning this competition requires hard work, guts, determination and fighting spirit, something that this current crop of Tuks team don’t seem to possess. It’s one thing to talk about defending their title and another playing their part in the field of play. Yes, it’s still early days, but they cannot leave things like this as this year’s competition is unpredictable. Ruthless teams would have torn them to shreds.
I have nothing against Tuks, this year’s team looks too ordinary to pose any serious threat. They are nothing but pretenders to the title this season. Hope they prove me wrong but I doubt it. Their defence was in disarray against TUT and their strike force didn’t have the cutting edge.
By Charles Baloyi – Daily Sun and Sunday Sun sports writer.