With the looming closure of the Newlands Rugby Stadium, we thought it would be good to share some memories and photos. This is the second of a few articles about The Grand “old lady” of South African Rugby

We are looking back at some of the great games played at Newlands involving the Ikeys. In South Africa, no University clash elicited more excitement, emotion and traditional rivalry than the annual clash between US (Maties) and UCT (Ikeys). For many a player from both institutions, to represent his university in Intervarsity was the ultimate honour and rugby experience of the season. The thrill of running on at Newlands in front of a big crowd, with pride in wearing the jersey, was special.

The first Intervarsity between these teams was played in 1911, when UCT was the South African College and Stellenbosch was the Victoria College.

1976 Intervarsity Ikeys 10 – Maties 3

The Intervarsity had not taken place since 1972 due to political considerations related to apartheid. The Government backed down and the game was played on condition that the black UCT students could sit in the same stand as their fellow white students.

Prior to 1972 there had been a long period of Maties dominance. In 1976 UCT had a star studded Ikey team, captained by Chris Pope. The full team was C Pope, D Williams, A Cunard, D Hoffman, P Whipp, T Brukman, D Zietsman, D Mather, P Ingwersen, D Claxton, G White, J Gibberd, B Deucher, R Wagner and N Mallet.

The Ikeys beat a strong Stellenbosch side containing a number of Springboks 10 -3 in torrential rain and heavy mud with a Tim Brukman try from a set move off a scrum being the winning score. Two tries to the Ikeys against a single penalty from the Maties in the conditions was a big win. The Maties dominated the tight phases but the highly motivated Ikeys beat the Maties for the loose ball and were also more disciplined.

Wet but elated Ikey supporters celebrated in style and famously the big student watering hole of the time, The Pig & Whistle, ran out of beer. 

1990 Intervarsity Ikeys 21 – Maties 16

In 1990 after 13 straight Matie wins, the Ikeys pulled off a great victory winning 21 – 16 before a crowd of 22 000. The team was captained by lock Chad Lion-Cachet and boasted a scrumhalf/flyhalf combination of Mikey Kirsten and Lance Sherrell who gave a masterclass on the day. The team was Chad Lion-Cachet, Lance Sherrell, Mike Hyne, Mark Bryant, Angus MacRobert, Anton Delport, Julian Halkett, Cliff Coxwell, Mike Kirsten, John Mullins, Greg Williams, William Tough, Greg Cooper, Dawie Senekal and Pieter Van Schalkwyk.

The Ikeys went into the game as underdogs and won by two converted tires, two penalties and a 40-metre drop goal from Lance Sherrell to the Maties two tries (one converted) and two penalties. There were a number of outstanding performers on the day, Captain Chad Lion-Cachet, fullback Angus MacRobert, Mikey Kirsten, Mike Hyne and Greg Cooper but the boot of Lance Sherrell was pivitol in the win. 

An interest fact was that tickets were on sale for R45 and included pre-lunch draught beer and wine, boerewors rolls and an evening spit braai with salads beer and wine.