NWU vs TUT: Will the hunter become the prey?
“He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds,” Hunter S Thompson wrote in a scathing obituary of former United States president Richard Nixon.
Although small, the badger* is a noble creature with the heart of giant – much like the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Noble Boys, as their history throughout the Varsity Football tournaments demonstrates.
Who could forget the NWU’s Tshepiso Mahlangu’s sizzling goal – eight minutes into kick-off – firing past UKZN’s goalkeeper Thandolwakhe Radebe during the recent second round of the Varsity Football tournament? It was met with a deafening roar from NWU supporters, knowing the strength of the beast on home soil.
Having drawn first blood, the NWU’s Israel Matshane – like a badger in revolt – sealed the visitors fate with a 2-0 victory.
This week the Noble Boys will face off against their arch-nemesis and current log leaders, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). With a touch of déjà vu, the two teams will take each other on at the same stadium and on the same day as they did during the 2018 tournament.
Knowing the history of these two teams and the sense of competition and domination that has shaped every one of their encounters, this week’s face-off is a hard call.
TUT will be looking to maintain their lead and dominance over team NWU, but the Noble Boys are determined to not let history shape their game.
“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 stadium this Thursday,” says NWU coach Karabo Masehela.
Perhaps, like the badger, the NWU must lure the current log leaders into the fold. And when the prey least expects it, the Noble Boys, with the character of a badger, will deliver a crushing blow and seal TUT’s fate.
*“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.”
NWU captain Paseka Matshekga in action during the Noble Boys’ encounter with UFS.