There’s till time to beat the clock, says coach

MZOXOLO BUDAZA

Khayelitsha Crusaders’ first team may have been struggling to survive in the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) Northern League but they are convinced things will turn around for the better soon.

The Crusaders side are struggling to find their form in the league this season, and their position in the log shows that something drastic needs to be done soon. They did show what they were capable of when they took on Whistling Wheels in their latest league match at home a fortnight ago.

In that match, the Khayelitsha side tried to stage a spectacular comeback but the northern suburbs side clearly came with a plan and executed it with perfection. Not even the fanatic Khayelitsha crowd, who rallied behind their team, could stop Whistling Wheels from winning 27-12. On the, field the Crusaders’ players gave their all, taking the game to their opponents but, the visitors kept their composure and capitalised each time the Khayelitsha side made a mistake. Despite playing well for most parts of the game the Khayelitsha side had to, once again, settle for a defeat.

With Crusaders now languishing dangerously at number 11 in the 12-team long, with 3 points after winning one and losing four of their five league matches, coach Thando Msutu said they will continue fighting until their fortunes changed for the better. He said a number of issues, including inadequate facilities in their home ground, contributed to his side’s poor start to the campaign. He was, however, quick to note that they were not trying to make excuses.

“Our approach has been that, if you don’t like the sport, you will never be committed and if you are not committed, the team is going to suffer. So, we need to give our all for the benefit of the team and it’s only then we would be able to get out of where we are right now,” he said.

He said their plan against Wheeling Wheels was to use their quick backs to run at their opponents and also exploit any weakness upfront. That’s what they did but the stubborn Wheels stood their ground.

Looking ahead, Msutu said their aim is to try winning their six remaining league matches in order to finish in a respectable position.

“Of course it is not going to be easy as none of our opponents are going to hand us wins on a platter. I think we need to show passion and, once we get that right, everything else should be in place. I think it is a matter of time before we get back to winning ways,” he said.

Khayelitsha’s next league match is against All Saints in Somerset West on Saturday May 28 and, as they are not playing next week, the break gives them ample time to recover and prepare for that encounter and, hopefully, their revival as the season approaches business end.

And, Msutu said they would use the time they are not playing in to work on the aspects of their game that needs fine-tuning.

“We are running out of time and the schedule is tight so any free week we get is an opportunity for us to put in extra work. We don’t have time to relax.”