CAPE TOWN – UWC fullback Tristan Leyds has admitted that it is a “big step up” to Varsity Cup rugby.
Leyds was one of the stars for UWC in their tournament debut on Monday evening at the Green Mile, with the fullback crossing the whitewash and playing an instrumental role in many of the counter-attacks launched from deep inside the 22-metre area.
It was unfortunately, though, not enough for the Bellville-based team to pull off a heroic victory, with UCT scoring late in the second half to secure a hard-fought 32-24 victory.
“It is a big step up from Varsity Shield,” Leyds told Independent Media. “The physicality is certainly at a higher level. But it is good to know where we stand in the Cup. UCT are not a bad side.”
After their courageous performance in their opening game, Leyds knows the opposition will not be caught off guard again or take them lightly. Coach Chester Williams will undoubtedly push them hard at training this week in the build-up to the first-ever home Varsity Cup clash when they face Shimlas this coming Monday.
A buzz has certainly been created around this team, particularly on social media with #Udubz trending on Monday during the game, and another big turnout is expected.
Does Leyds think his teammates will be over-awed by the occasion?
“I think the boys can handle the crowd, but maybe the moment being the first Varsity Shield to really push the Varsity Cup teams does take some time to sink in,” he said. “I think our decision-making wasn’t bad. Maybe we took couple of scrums instead of taps where we slowed the game down.
“We like to play the game at a high pace.”
UWC certainly look to throw everything into attack with moves often started deep inside their own half.
This led to couple of crucial turnovers, resulting in points for UCT, but they are unlikely to change their gameplan anytime soon.
Instead, they will continue to push hard on attack and focus on improving their discipline, particularly as the sin-binning of prop Justin Theys for stamping came at a crucial juncture in the match.
WATCH: UWC fullback Tristan Leyds is gutted after the close opening loss to UCT but calls on all at UWC to pack out Bellville Stadium next week for "uDubs" first home game! @IOLsport @UWCSport @varsitycup pic.twitter.com/5AuVrbI5gW— Zaahier Adams (@ZaahierAdams) February 4, 2019
“It was painful losing against our Cape Town rivals by just a few points. I think our composure let us down a bit. But we will back next week.
We showed we could compete and hopefully we can get over the line in front of our home crowd next week,” Leyds added.@ZaahierAdams