The U20 Cubs were the proud winners of the Butterworth Cup, the award that goes to the best team at UCT each year. The FNB Ikey Tigers u20 squad has enjoyed an incredible season by not only winning their domestic league, but also going unbeaten in all of their matches making them well deserved winners of this title.
The FNB Ikey Tigers u20 squad has enjoyed an incredible season by not only winning their domestic league, but also going unbeaten in all of their matches. Earning the right to be called invincibles
Although the FNB Ikey Tigers failed to hang on to their halftime lead against Maties, ultimately going down 32-20 to their rivals, much hope can be taken from the fact that the Ikeys Young Guns came back from behind to beat Maties’ u20 side.
Speaking to Young Guns coach Tom Dawson-Squib, it’s easy to see why UCT’s future rugby stars are on the right path. “We’ve got a different side from the Varsity Cup side now, because a few guys have gone up to the first team,” he said, “But this team is so enthusiastic. They’ve won all their games up until now.”
Despite the result, the games proceedings were not smooth at all. The teams played for only fifty-two minutes due to the referees being late, and the field had no shortage of wind.
“They scored first: they scored a try and a penalty so we were 10-0 down. We managed to score before halftime though so we went into the break knowing that we had a good chance because we were only trailing by five points and the wind would be in our favour,” coach Dawson-Squib said.
“When your home is the Green Mile and you know the wind, it always gives you a chance. We scored a try in the last seven minutes, but our second half performance was mainly tackling and kicking the ball up field. Maties really performed in the second half; they played some nice rughby,” he went on to explain.
“We had a big build up to this game and the boys responded well. They put in the defensive work and tackled really well in the second half.”
Speaking on the future of the club, the fans and their support, coach Dawson-Squib had this to say: “We hope that our players will play for the senior team one day, so it’s in our hands. But it would be great for people to support the next batch, so come down and watch us. Hopefully you’ll see something that will brighten up your Saturday.”
Despite the disappointing season the FNB Ikey Tigers have endured thus far, the future of UCT rugby still remains bright. “We knew it’d be tough coming up against teams with provincial players in them, but it’s been absolute privilege captaining this team. They’re more than just my team mates, we’re really good mates off of the field as well,” said Michael Henning, who captained the Ikey Young Guns this season.
“We’ve had a lot of good, young players coming in. I feel like our team has set a good standard for the future this season, and although our first team hasn’t done too well, we’ve tried our best to provide a positive outlook for UCT rugby.”
The Ikey Young Guns have had a fairly successful season, emphatically beating the CUT Young Guns and drawing with the Pukke Young Guns. Their other two results were the narrowest of losses, but Henning remains confident that they achieved what they set out to do. “We wanted to stay true to the UCT way. We wanted to play good rugby, and be good people on and off the field,” said Henning.
The rugby system in place at UCT allows the u20s to train alongside the first team players, giving them an early taste of what the future holds. “When we train in the off-season, we all train together and it’s great because we can get used to that standard of rugby. UCT likes to keep young players playing rugby even after their time with the Young Guns, so this is a very good platform to start out on,” said Henning.
“There were six players from the u20s who were included in the first team squad, so that proves that this younger group has the potential to perform well in the coming seasons,” the captain added.
Coach Tom Dawson-Squib took to social media to express his gratitude concerning his first season as coach as the Ikey Young Guns. He went on to say: “Never concentrate on the paint in your house until you have solid foundations built – basics are everything”. And that is exactly what the Ikey Young Guns have been doing: Building a foundation upon which, as coach Dawson-Squib puts it, future greats can carry the banner of UCT rugby for many more years to come.
By Wessley Thring.
The young men who sweat blood and tears for the honour and privilege of wearing the iconic blue and white of the greatest rugby club in the world, UCT, the Ikey Tigers, go into the under 20s (under 19s, in my day), full of piss and vinegar, and emerge a year or so later, men, bold, strong men who uphold the finest traditions of UCT rugby. Unless these young warriors have undergone a tragic transformation, one of the incentives of playing for the Ikey Tigers, or the Young Guns, is to pull the chicks. Forgive me ladies; their terminology, not mine.
Without the support, encouragement, and the potential allure of becoming a willing victim of the charms of the ‘UCT Ladies’, only slightly demented men would have signed up each year for months of torture, the scathing tongue of the coach, the blisters, bruises, broken bones, the ‘lammies’, the cuts and black eyes; and worst of all, when after the game, your girlfriend said sotto voce: ‘Sweetie, you didn’t have a good game, did you?’ That was the unkindest cut of all.
I met Fallon when I was trying to get my ageing body into acceptable shape at the Sports Science Centre. She was charming, helpful, and full of expert biokinetic knowledge. What more could a man expect from a trainer? Imagine my dismay when that ever lean, fit old bloke named John Le Roux, concocted some terrible subterfuge to ‘get his blood pressure under control’, sheepishly muttering that he had hired Fallon as a personal trainer. I pondered to myself that this was a classic piece of bull ordure, but had to admire John’s move.
Fallon has been a bio-keneticist at the Club since 2007 and has proved integral to the Club’s success over the past decade. Here she writes to us from behind the scenes, and shares her treasured experience as a UCT Ikey lady.
Fallon Hope: My Ikeys Journey
My Ikeys journey began in 2007 whilst I was doing my internship at The Sport Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). I had moved from JHB (Born and bred) with the idea that I would ‘suck up’ a year in Cape Town, get the experience I needed, claim the association with SSISA on my CV and head back to JHB to start my bio kinetics career ! However, this all changed when by chance I came across an email that had been sent out at the SSISA asking if anyone would like to help out an u20 team. The coach would be some guy called John Dobson.
At that stage there was no Varsity Cup, there was no fancy marketing and no new change room. There was not much at all but there was something very tangible in the atmosphere, (without abusing the cliché) an amazing vibe. And so the season began! From running in to the forests and getting lost, to the boys being met by a crazy army man in Simonstown and going through drills for the better part of 4 hours, and slowly through this boys and coaches (myself included) from totally different backgrounds slowly became friends and the bug had bitten !
We had an incredibly tight group, John Le Roux who would be one of my clients had a lot to do with that. We didn’t have much, but we had it all. There was so much support drummed up around the 2007 group. We went on to win the u20 league and remained unbeaten in 2007. It is still one of my fondest Ikeys memories and seasons!
The following year John Dobson was promoted to the first team and slowly the UCT that we know today started to come alive. Dobbo introduced the warrior poet as the Ikeys Club song, he set in place that UCT rugby stands for producing not only good and talented rugby players but GREAT human beings and GREAT men and of course the touch of pink that we still have now in our water bottles and towels! I was (and still am) in awe of all this!
Gunner Hughes took over the u20s and did a superb job with the u20’s over the next few years and I decided to hang around and continue the work we had started in 2007.
A lot of people will remember the first change room overhaul, where the first team came in and broke down the old change room and repainted and tried their best to renovate! The job wasn’t too bad considering I suspect a number of the boys may have had pre-renovation beers, in the end it turned out amazing and gradually we see what we see today.
There is still something about rugby at UCT that keeps me coming back year after year. The cold Saturday mornings at the club, the standard smell of greasy boerewors rolls (John Le Roux do not read this!) and of course the post-match drinks as we all enjoy the Saturday afternoon down at the club.
Every year I have somehow been involved in UCT rugby. It never gets old or boring, in fact, I am rather bored when I don’t have Ikeys rugby! Watching rugby on the green mile and supporting the players and knowing that I have a part to play in making sure that the team is successful is a very important reason as to why I keep returning in each October for the start of the pre-season. I have met the most wonderful people and watched boys enter at u20s and leave as GREAT MEN and move onto such great things, both on the field and off. This leaves me with a massive sense of pride and fulfilment.
UCT RFC has changed a whole lot since those early days where we would have to make a tunnel in the pub to let the first team walk through from their change room. I met my boyfriend at UCT, most of my friends are or have been involved at UCT and the memories from the initial days of naming the u20 team the “Trojans” to winning dramatic Varsity Cup finals. Somehow UCT rugby has always been there for 9 years and in that sense UCT is the same – Good people gathered together enjoying the great game of Rugby.
A Tribute to the Ikey Ladies
Ladies like Fallon Hope, Lisa Gagiano and June Forte, the long suffering girlfriends and wives, are the backbone of our great rugby club. Their contribution deserves special recognition and applause from all of us. I suggest that without the contribution from the Ikey Ladies, the Ikey Tigers would soon lose their claws, and become tame pussycats.