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The result might not have gone our way on Monday night, but for over 400 of our Social members, it was an incredible afternoon and evening to remember.
Leaving from the Baxter in Rondebosch, we had eight 60-seater busses departing for Stellenbosch between 15h00 and 17h00 on Monday afternoon. Filled with our signed up Social members, who got the bus trip as part of their membership, the buses were awash with blue and white thanks to the very snazzy Ikey Tiger supporters T-shirts that also form part of the membership package.
“Winners backing Winners” blue flags courtesy of the UCT Alumni office were waved with vigour all the way from the Baxter to the Danie Craven Stadium, home to our foe for the day, Maties.
In our demarcated block behind the poles on the mountain side of Coetzenberg, there was plenty of banter between the blue and maroon clad, but all in excellent spirit. From the moment skipper David Hayes led his Ikeys onto the field, to the moment the Maties snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the 80th minute, the Ikey supporters were in full song.
There might have been some drowning of sorrows on the bus trip back, but all that did was add to the Ikey VIBE, which truly was in fine fettle.
Check out these pics and clips from the day:
And while the bus trip to Stellies may have come and gone, there are still four Varsity Cup home games to come this season, and they promise to be even more festive!
Sign up to be a Ikey Tigers Social member, and you get tickets to all 4 home games, plus the EXCLUSIVE Ikey supporters T-shirt. If you are a student at UCT, head to PeopleSoft and search for “SOC RUG”, and for those non students, head to Webtickets (https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1523061543) where you can buy an Ikey Tigers season ticket for just R395.00.
Flyhalf David Hayes will captain the youthful UCT Ikey Tigers side to take on Maties at the Danie Craven Stadium on Monday 20 Feb 19.00 (live on SuperSport).
The experienced Keagan Glade will anchor down the scum at tighthead with locks Enos Ndaiou and Johan van Rhyn adding further steel into the tight five. Taariq Kruger is back on the flank.
The back three returns with wingers Ntokozo Makhaza, Rethabile Louw and fullback Duran Koevort and is not short on speed and strike power.
As the 2023 FNB Varsity Cup is due to start, there have been mixed feelings in the FNB UCT Ikeys camp in their pre-season preparations.
This season will see a different-looking Ikeys squad after losing some of their key players to academics and the professional level, including 2022 try-scoring machine Suleiman Hartzenberg who has become a regularfor the Stormers.
Log position: 2nd
Lost to FNB Maties in a home semi-final
Coach Tom Dawson-Squibb says it is expected to lose key players each season. “We have had good preparations, way less disruptive than last year, but still with some unexpected issues that we’ve had to deal with. We have a competitive squad which has made for quality training, and a nice crop of young players who’ve brought super energy into the mix.
“Our under-20s did nicely last year and it’s super to see about 10 of them in our group for pre-season. It shows the club is in a good space around giving young guys opportunities.”
The Ikey Tigers haven’t lifted any silverware since 2014, something the head coach and technical team believes needs to change.
“Expectations are never too good, as they can limit you or cause anxiety. I would say like always we have aspirations. We want to win! And I don’t begrudge this group wanting to win.”
Dawson-Squibb kept his cards close when asked which UCT players to watch out for this year. “I’ve enjoyed the look of Enos Ndiao in the pre-season, and our captain Luthando Woji looks to have a bit between his teeth this year which is exciting. Young prop Bryan le Roux has had a wretched time with injury for the past three years and I’m hoping he gets to show the country what he can do this year. He’s a special guy with, I believe, a special story ahead of him.”
The Ikey Tigers open their campaign with an away game against cross town rivals FNB Maties on the 20 February at the Danie Craven Stadium. Live on SuperSport 19.00.