U20s to the fore!
by Spencer King
As stated previously, we had agreed to concentrate on the under twenty teams this year, and ensure that our ‘supply line’ is healthy and productive. And what a year it has been for them.
The U20 A team easily won their league (for the first time since 2001), conceding only 45 points the whole season. In fact they earned 78 log points out of a possible 80, a remarkable achievement by any standards. They beat both Maties teams twice, and earned accolades from all who watched them. Their comfortable win over the WP Institute side at Newlands showed their true ability to play as a team.
Our congratulations go to all involved, but particularly to John Dobson
and John Le Roux for their incredible hard work both on and off the
field. The under 20 B1 side were also league winners, and only lost
one match the whole season, but drew twice to our own B2 side playing
in the same league (they finished a remarkable third in this league!)
Ross McKernan, Fambai Marara, Andrew Hughes and Kirsten Marshall all
deserve enormous credit. The under 20 C side lost their league by one
point, having led for most of the season. The coaches involved, Richard
Schroeder, Justin Wiggel and Ike Jiya, did an outstanding job in
keeping the team going under difficult circumstances.
The 1st XV playing in a highly competitive league,
finished in a little disappointing 5th position, with their inability
to pick up bonus points counting against them. Nevertheless, at times
weakened both by provincial call-ups and injuries, they were
competitive in every match they played, with their two best
performances probably coming against NNK and Maties, the last game of
the season. Played at the Craven Stadium, the final score was 42-40 to
Maties, in a ten-try thriller, with Maties converting a last minute
penalty to snatch the lead!
The 2nd and 3rd teams disappointed this year, by their own
high standards. Many new faces were evident in both teams as they
began a re-building process, using mostly players fresh out of the
under 20 section. The 2nd team finished 4th and the 3rd team 6th. The
UCT 5th team once again won their league, and are to be congratulated
on consistent performances throughout the season.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our coaches and
managers, the unsung heroes of the club, who give up so much time
voluntarily to coach our teams, and keep the tradition of Varsity
Spirit going. The club is very fortunate indeed!
The internal league continues to flourish, and for this
year it was played under World Cup rules, with four sections each made
up of 4 teams. Special thanks must go to Ross McKernan who has
organised this league for the past two years , and is now retiring from
this onerous task!
A new competition, the FNB Varsity Cup, kicks off on
February 18 with UCT playing Pukke at home! The top 8 Universities
will play one another on a home or away basis with a bumper weekend
being planned over the Easter weekend in George. This means that the
1st XV squad will have at least seven tough games before the official
league starts. This is a really early start for the players, and their
preparation will need to be well planned to cope with the rigours of
Dave Mallett has, after a two year stint as Head Coach of the
1st XV, leaves us to coach the Bishops 1st side. Our best wishes and
thanks go to him for the excellent job he has done in keeping the side
in a healthy position. We are delighted to welcome back John Dobson as
the new Head Coach, and wish him all the best for what is going to be a
tough season. John is a true Varsity man who understands the needs and
wished of a club like ours.
I would like to thank all of you who have contributed so much to the
club this year, particularly our business partner FNB for their
fantastic support. Special thanks also go to our 200 Club members,
Powerade and Peninsula Beverages, Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic, Personal
Trust International Limited, Murray Clan Insurance Brokers, RSM Betty
& Dickson, Premier Auto Rondebosch, Harold Kessler, and our wedge
sponsors: Personal Trust, Hymax, Ashburton, Burger Wallace,
Metropolitan, Deutsche Bank and Powerade.
As I will be leaving the club at the end of this year, I would like to
take this opportunity to thank all those with whom I have come into
contact during my nine year stay. I have really enjoyed working and
socialising with such great and wonderful people. May the true Varsity
Spirit be with you always!