It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t perfect, but FNB UCT head coach John Dobson was a relieved man after his side’s drama-filled 24-22 win over FNB Tukkies in FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International action on Monday night, varsitycup.co.za reports
Ikeys were made to fight all the way by their hosts, who ran into a 13-0 lead, before the Ikeys hit back with tries by Therlow Pietersen and Marcello Sampson, with flyhalf Matt Rosslee – the official Man of the Match – eventually clinching the game with a last-second penalty goal.
“My nerves were certainly frayed,” admitted Dobson to varsitycup.co.za. “It was a tense match and the guys did well to recover from the slow start.
“Overall, I was a bit disappointed in our performance, but I guess there’s a lot to be said about the team for pulling through in the end, despite not playing well.”
A pre-match thunderstorm and a slow start from the Ikeys did not exactly help the visitors on the day – but nobody could have predicted the dramatic finale to Monday’s clash at the LC de Villiers Stadium when Rosslee’s last-second penalty dropped over the crossbar to hand UCT the victory.
The Ikeys, who went down narrowly to Stellenbosch in last year’s Varsity Cup Final, now find themselves in third place on the log after four rounds of action, with Tukkies (second place) and Maties (first place) the sides ahead of them.
“The weather didn’t help us,” admitted Dobson, “but the guys did well to remain calm and claw their way back.
“The result sets us up nicely ahead of the last three league games, so hopefully we can use this as a springboard to claim a semifinal spot.”
Next up for UCT are the high-flying Men from Port Elizabeth, FNB NMMU, with Kolie Brandt’s side having picked up their first-ever Varsity Cup victory on Monday night – beating FNB TUT 28-18 at the Xerox NMMU Stadium.
“I predicted that they’d win that one,” said Dobson. “They’re a bunch of battlers, with a big pack, and will be a real handful at their own ground.
“We’re certainly not expecting to simply pitch up in Port Elizabeth and come away with five points,” he added. “In fact, we’re anticipating a real dog fight and will be happy to come away with a win and a valuable four points.”