Following back-to-back defeats, TUT will play one of the most important matches of the season against underperforming CUT on Thursday in Bloemfontein.
The Red Machine were forced to surrender their first position on the log after failing to register a win in their last three matches (all away) against UKZN, UFS and UWC.
Pointing fingers at this stage won’t help Bushy Moloi’s side as they have no one to blame but themselves after their disappointing displays that has threatened their semi-final spot and defense of the Varsity Football title.
In addition to TUT’s ongoing problems, varsitysportssa.com understands that talented winger Thabiso Lebitso will only be available in the semi-finals if they reach it.
This week, varsitysportssa.com spoke to TUT’s Wonder Khaliswayo, a third-year journalism student and former trialist for the Varsity Football powerhouse.
What are the chances of TUT making it to the semi-finals of the 2019 Varsity Football competition?
“At this point, I’m not sure but I’m confident that the boys know what is at stake as they have won this competition before.”
In your opinion, what can be done to ensure the Red Machine advances to the next round?
“If only it was possible to force Lebitso to play, we would have won our last three matches and we wouldn’t be in this situation. In addition, I think we need to score two early goals and defend as that is our strong point.
You have trialled with the team last year, how was the experience?
“Yes I did trial with the team but I had a lot of school work and it was during the protests so I had travelling issues as there were no buses from Arcadia campus to the main campus where the team trains.”
If it wasn’t for travelling issues, do you think you would be part of the final selection in the trials?
“Definitely, I trust my abilities but I also had to focus on my school work and I don’t regret anything as my main priority is making my family proud next year when I graduate.”
Let’s revert back to TUT’s performances, what do you went wrong as TUT were unstoppable in their opening three matches?
“They have 3 wins, 2 defeats and 1 draw from six matches. It is not bad as it looks, they lost points in the most critical stages of the competition. Let’s be honest, the stats prove that they are the champions and on a personal level, it is not a bad record. At this point, they just have to ensure that they win their next match and going back to your question, I think Lebitso’s injury is the main contributing factor to our challenge.”
It’s a do or die match for the defending champions against 7th placed CUT on the log, if the Red Machine fails to win their match, they will be forced to watch the finals eating ice-cream at home.
By Lakhe Thwala