Home Sport Winning culture at Richards Bay poses a threat to Sundowns

Winning culture at Richards Bay poses a threat to Sundowns

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Under the tutelage of co-coaches Pitso Dladla and Vasili Manousakis, Richards Bay are unbeaten in their last nine DStv Premiership matches and are third on the log

Sanele Barns of Richards Bay FC during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match against Swallows FC held at King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on 31 December 2022. Picture: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

Cape Town – Richards Bay have built a winning culture in their inaugural PSL season, and their superb record after 14 matches suggests they will pose a real threat to log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Friday (start 7.30pm).

Under the tutelage of co-coaches Pitso Dladla and Vasili Manousakis, Richards Bay are unbeaten in their last nine DStv Premiership matches and are third on the log. Richards Bay have exceeded all expectations in their debut top-flight campaign.

Their defence record is one of the best in the premiership and they have conceded only six goals in 14 league encounters. The team, nicknamed the Natal Rich BoyZ, have not lost since August 24 against SuperSport United.

Sundowns are unbeaten in their last eight but have won all those games. They were 2-0 victors over Swallows earlier in the week as they kept a sixth clean sheet in succession. They have the best defensive record in the premiership. With five goals conceded after 14 games, they are marginally better than Richards Bay.

In their midweek match, Sundowns were held at bay for more than an hour by Swallows who employed a low-block defence. It was only after a touch of individual brilliance by midfielder Neo Maema who scored the opening goal, that Swallows’ resistance crumbled.

Richards Bay striker Somila Ntsundwana is one of the team’s star players along with Luvuyo Memela, Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Ugandan goalkeeper Salim Magoola. He said they are determined to stick to their attacking style. They will not be changing tact because are going up against the champions.

“We are in for a tough game. We are playing against a good team. However, we are not putting ourselves under pressure,” said Ntsundwana.

“We know exactly what we want, we know our ultimate goal is to go there and give Sundowns a good game with our attacking style.

“And also make sure we get the desired result on the day.”

Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena is anticipating a testing match against Richards Bay.

Mokwena said: “It is going to be a difficult game. You can see where they are on the log … you can see their organisation, they are a difficult team to beat and it should be a very interesting match.

“They have some very good players, and it is going to be a tough one.”

@Herman_Gibbs

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