UCT Ikeys do the double
Cape Town - Varsity Cup champions, UCT, did the double on Saturday with a 35-29 win over Victorians, giving them their first WP Super League title since 1974.
The Ikeys, who won their first Varsity Cup title earlier this year, after being losing finalists twice previously, went into Saturday's match requiring a full-house of five points to overtake Maties on the log.
In the build up to the match Ikeys coach Kevin Foote spoke of the need for his team to remain patient against Vics, but even Foote would have been a bit nervous after thirty minutes with his team trailing by 22 points to 5.
However, the home side remained calm and upped the pressure on half-time, resulting in two yellow cards (to Vics) and a penalty try (to the Ikeys) putting them in touch at the break.
Two Mark Winter tries - his second putting UCT in the lead for the first time in the game - saw the Ikeys take a 26-22 lead after 48 minutes.
Three Nick Holton penalties made it 35-22 to the hosts with just over five minutes remaining, before a converted Vics try set up a thrilling finish.
UCT, however, kept Vics at bay with some resolute defence.
Ikeys coach Foote and his team - so brilliantly led by Don Armand in the absence of Nick Fenton-Wells - were understandably elated at the final whistle, knowing that the Class of 2011 would go down in the annals of UCT history as arguably the best modern-day First XV side.
The win on Saturday was the icing on the cake, having won 13 matches in a row - including four bonus points in their last six games, with their last defeat coming against Hamilton's in April.
"My boys are all heroes," Armand told the Cape Argus on Sunday.
"We've lived for this moment for the entire season and now we've realised it. All the boys who played for us throughout the year have worn and respected the jersey."
There were also two Ikeys among the many Old Boys in the stands that were part of the 1974 side that last lifted the League Trophy, then known as "Grand Challenge" - Butch Deuchar and Andy Donovan.
For FNB UCT:
Tries: Rijs, Penalty try, Winter 2
Cons: Holton 3
Pens: Holton 3
For Steinhoff Victorians:
Tries: Hopkins, Brown
Cons: Potgieter 2
Pens: Potgieter 5
UCT: 15 Ricky Rijs, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 André Coetzer, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Nick Farrar, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Ntsolo Setlaba, 6 Don Armand (captain), 5 Brad Bosman, 4 Pallo Manuel, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Timmy Louw, 17 Digby Webb, 18 James Kilroe, 19 Zandy Macdonald, 20 Steve Wallace, 21 Angelo Pecego, 22 Jannie Bester.
Victorians: 15 Chris Hopkins, 14 Dwain Brown, 13 Stefan Venter, 12 Jody Rose, 11 Deego Arends, 10 JH Potgieter, 9 Gideon Strydom, 8 Nicolas de Jager, 7 Marco van Eeden, 6 Christiaan van der Merwe, 5 Schalk Ferreira, 4 Rudi van der Zee, 3 Suan Havenga 2 Neethling Gericke, 1 Nian Bergh.
Replacements: 16 Wessel Lourens, 17 Boeta Kleynhans, 18 Shaun McDonald, 19 Chris Louw, 20 James Alexander, 21 Dean Grant, 22 Mark Esterhuizen.
The WP Super League log (Played, won, points):
1. UCT 18, 15, 70
2. Maties 18, 14, 69
3. Hamiltons 18, 13, 66
4. DurBel 18, 10, 55
5. SK-Walmers 17, 11, 53
6. Victorians 17, 7, 44
7. False Bay 18, 8, 40
8. Villagers 18, 6, 28
9. Belhar 18, 3, 19
10. Helderberg 18, 1, 10
Earlier in the day, further history was made when Ubumbo, a UCT internal league rugby team, hosted the Joburg based Eye of the Tiger Academy side at the UCT rugby Grounds. This being the recently launched academy's first game and the start of a new relationship between both parties.
After being 12-8 up at half time, the EOTT Academy side ran out 29-25 victors in what was a fast paced and physical game of rugby.
The academy is the brainchild of President, Ms Viwe Qegu, a former SARU board member, it’s mission to become a high performance centre providing an opportunity to young players of colour who aspire to take their rugby to a professional level.
The academy comprises of club rugby players from around the country, the average age being 20. The side is coached by former Springbok Themba Ludwaba. The current crop of players were selected at a ‘trial and pre-launch’ held in August.
An edited version of this game will be broadcast on SABC 2 on Friday 30 September at 09:30 before the South Africa-Samoa game.