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Rulani Explains ‘Hector Pietersen’ Talk In MTN8 Final

Rulani Mokwena has explained why he made a reference to the Soweto Uprising in 1976 in his team talk ahead of extra-time in the recent MTN8 final, saying people would’ve called him “a plumber” if it hadn’t worked out.

Mokwena’s motivational speech was caught on camera as he was addressing his players after the 90 minutes in the MTN8 final against Cape Town City.

The 35-year-old mentor, who compared the match with Hector Pieterson’s situation who was shot and killed while protesting for his rights in Soweto in 1976, now explained why he opted for this talk.

“How do you even think of 1976 in that moment,” he asked on SuperSport TV.

“Sometimes, these things work and sometimes they don’t. When they work we’re geniuses and when they don’t work we look like plumbers.

“But the reality is, we try our level best to help the team from a technical, tactical perspective and sometimes when we feel like in the second half, where we lost a little bit of an emotional context and that happens sometimes.

“You start to give the ball away and the opposition is on top of you. They start to create more chances than you, you’ve missed a lot of opportunities and then the emotional attachment is gone and without the emotional attachment it’s not longer the game of football.”

Mokwena also gave credit to his players for listening and getting the message after securing the club’s first-ever MTN8 trophy thanks to overcoming Eric Tinkler’s side in the penalty shootout.

“Sometimes the message can just fly over their heads and these sort of things, we’re just facilitators to support and try to give as much support to the players to give the best performances.

“At the end of the day the game belongs to the players and for them to come back to bounce, to fight speaks about their character, their mentality, their hunger.

“And kudos to Mamelodi Sundowns, to the players for receiving the message and going out and fighting for the badge and not turning… It’s very easy to fight when it’s easy, but it’s difficult to fight when it’s difficult.

“The heroes, the people that are being remembered for doing great things, you can think even in the space of Hector Pietersen, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, the people that really made history and are remembered are the people that remain true to the cause in difficult moments.”

Sundowns return to action on Sunday when they will face bottom-placed Marumo Gallants.

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