As we approach the start of the second half of the WP Super League on Saturday the 26th of July, let’s take a look back at how the Ikey Tigers have fared so far in the 2014 league.
The Tigers’ Super League campaign began with a game against Tygerberg, fresh off their fantastic winning of the Varsity Cup. The boys had a strong start to the game, taking a commanding lead early on. While nine of the UCT players chosen took no part in the Varsity Cup campaign, the team worked well together, leaving the scoreboard at 28-11 come half time. The game was momentous for Digby Webb and James Kilroe as they both received their 50th cap for the Tigers. Together with the two Varsity Cup stars, the Ikeys finished off the game beating Tygerberg 49-21. Speaking about the league in general, coach Kevin Musikanth said “it’s a prestigious tournament and is something that is now played in the Super 15 format, so there is a lot of excitement within the group for UCT to succeed in this competition following their fairytale Varsity Cup.”
The team’s second game was against NNK, who have been newly brought back into the Super League. UCT took complete control of the game from the get-off, scoring a massive 45 points in just 30 minutes, and leaving the half time score at 45-0. While NNK had a powerful start to the second half, the Ikey’s scrum was devastating and their line-outs were a well-oiled machine, allowing UCT to win 59-28.
Next up came Kuilsriver, who UCT overcame 38-14 on the Green Mile, further extending their momentum in the tournament. The visitors were well in the game within the first half, with the scoreline reading 22-7 at the break. However, the Ikeys worked well to finish off the game in style, and secured their place at the top of the log.
The Tiger’s fourth game saw them encounter Primrose, this time away from home. Once again, their opponents worked hard to stay in the game, scoring 7 points to UCT’s 21 by half time. However, some great line running from fly half Ross Jones-Davies, and a powerful scrum cap allowed the Ikeys to score 7 tries and beat Primrose 49-11.
UCT hit a brick wall with their fifth round game against Stellenbosch, putting an end to their 10 game winning streak; losing out to their arch rivals 18-19 in a nail-biter. It was a fiercely fought battle between the two sides, as both teams gave it their all. The Ikeys had the win in sight, leading 18-16 with just minutes to go. However, a last-gasp penalty try awarded to Stellenbosch in the final minutes of the game saw them lose out. While the team were obviously frustrated by the lose, their game plan was executed well overall, and they managed to completely dismantle the Maties’ scrum pack.
The boys bounced back with their next match, recording their win of the tournament so far, beating the SK Walmers 64-5. A massive start to the game saw the Walmers scoreless until the last quarter of the game. At the time Musikanth explained that the team were “consistent in all aspects of the game” and gave an “electric” performance, which was spurred on by the support from their home crowd.
This momentum was extended even further in Round Seven when UCT overcame UWC 41-19 on the Green Mile. It was an intensely fought encounter between the two teams with Musikanth saying UWC were “one of the most physical sides we have player at the end of the game.” The visitors were only promoted to the Super A league this season, so the teams did not have much history playing one another.
UCT then finished off their first half of the tournament performance with a 22-11 win over Durbell ahead of the break. While Durbell had a strong start to the game leaving the scoreboard at 22-11 at half time, the Ikeys stuck with it and pulled away from them in the second half.
The excitement begins again on the 26th of July with UCT taking on Belville Tech on the Green Mile. Be sure to follow all the action on the UCTRFC website.
First Half Results
UCT vs Tygerberg 49-21 Away
UCT vs NNK 59-28 Away
UCT vs Kuilsriver 38-14 Home
UCT vs Primrose 49-11 Away
UCT vs Stellenbosch 8-19 Away
UCT vs SK Walmers 64-5 Home
UCT vs UWC 41-19 Home
UCT vs Durbell 23-5 Home
By Megan Kinnaird