“He had the fighting instincts of a trapped badger by hounds”, Hunter S Thompson wrote in a scathing obituary of former United States president Richard Nixon.
“The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws.”
The badger, a noble and small animal with the heart of a giant, is much like the North-West University Mafikeng campus and its history in Varsity Football.
Who could forget the sizzling goal eight minutes after kick-off by the Noble Boys’ Tshepiso Mahlangu firing past UKZN’s goalkeeper Thandolwakhe Radebe; which was met with a deafening roar from the NWU supporters who know the strength of the beast on home soil.
Not content with being in the lead having drawn first blood, NWU’s Israel Matshane – like a badger in revolt clenching its jaws to end all hopes of recovery by its prey – sealed the visitors’ fate in a 2-1 season-opening victory.
Last week, the ‘badger’ had to show patience – as NWU drew 1-1 with UFS – to leave enough fight in themselves who the battles ahead.
This week, the Noble Boys face off against their arch nemesis, and current log leaders, TUT as part of a double header – a Varsity Football tournament first – which will see four teams compete at the same stadium, on the same day.
TUT will be looking to maintain their dominance over NWU [four wins in five meetings] but the Noble Boys are determined to not let history shape their game of play and spoil their 2019 marathon.
“They have sharpened their mental endurance, have revised their war plan and will be carrying the strength of the purple army as they enter the pitch on 8 August 2019,” NWU Coach Karabo Masehela tells varsitysportssa.com.
Perhaps, like the badger, the NWU will lure TUT into presumed dominance only to prey when the current log leaders least expects it. Time will tell, but you don’t want to miss it.
NWU Mafikeng will meet TUT in the early kick-off, at 15:40, of the double header at Tuks Stadium. Tickets are available for just R10 if you use the Varsity Sports App, downloadable from the Apple App Store on iOS devices or from the Google Play store for Android users.
By Phenyo Mokgothu