Following a three-match winless run, TUT found their form when it mattered against CUT last week and are now looking eagerly forward to the Varsity Football semi-finals double header.
Preparation for a semi-final arguably doesn’t come better than the make-or-break match TUT faced last week against CUT in Bloemfontein. Ultimately, Bushy Moloi’s side were at their best and notched up a comfortable 3-0 victory which sealed their spot in top four.
Critics will say that fatigue played a role in the defending champions, surrendering the first position they held on the log for most of the round-robin phase. The fact, however, is that they were always going to play an away semi-final anyway and now, too, will their opponents and perennial rivals UP-Tuks – who they, of course, beat in Round 1.
TUT captain, Rorisang Rapelang suggests that his squad have not wavered from trying to defend the title and join UP-Tuks on three wins apiece.
“It [reaching the semi-finals] means we are still on track to achieve our goals, we have been here before and we will do our outmost best to make our fans happy.”
ALSO READ: Recapping a gripping Round 7
Perhaps the decisive boost to the Red Machine’s flagging fortunes was the return of their talismanic attacker Thabiso Lebitso.
Lebitso had been away from TUT duty for a few weeks, nursing an injury while being picked to lead the Nedbank Ke Yona composite team against national cup champions TS Galaxy. Moloi, though, had no hesitation of rushing the 23-year-old into action in Bloemfontein.
“I’m happy with our performance as a team and individually, I’m also happy with how I played,” Lebitso tells varsityssportssa.com.
With a Tshwane derby awaiting them in the semi-finals at UWC Sports Stadium (16:00 kick-off), the TUT camp are sensing a fifth-straight Varsity Football final is their destiny.
“We won our last three matches against Tuks and we are confident that we can do it again,” concludes TUT’s number 10.
The first-ever Varsity Football semi-final double header will take place on Thursday at UWC Sports Stadium. Tickets for both matches are available on the Varsity Sports App (iOS and Android compatible), and they will be broadcast live on SuperSport 204 and 210. Follow @VarsityDiski on social media for match updates.
By Lakhe Thwala