UCT played away at log leading Hamilton’s today – the home side had managed to beat Maties in a last second effort and luck was on their side again when they pipped Ikeys 30:26 who were leading with two minutes to go. This day may well be remembered as the day the Ikey Tigers gave Hamiltons a key to club champs.
Ikeys let it slip.
This game was seen as a qualifier of sort with the winner given the bigger chance of competing at the 2009 South African club championships. From the 1st kick-off - UCT playing against the wind – you could tell this was going to be a hard game as the Ikeys smashed the older more ‘physical’ players of Hamiltons backward in defense of their try line, there were big hits coming from both sides as the hunger for victory was clear.
The Ikeys opened their scoring account with a brilliant backline move inside the hammies 22m ending off with quick hands to the gas man Marcello Sampson who outstripped Terry Jacobs for the try in the corner which was unconverted by Matt Roslee.
Hamiltons hit straight back with some fine attacking rugby and were on the verge of scoring a very good try when the pocket rocket Therlow Pieterson used great vision to time a perfect intercept and run the full length on the field and score UCT’s 2nd unconverted try making the score 10-6 to the Ikeys with 15mins left in the 1st half. Hammies began to hit their stride as the half was heading to a close and were rewarded with a try in the corner due to fumbling hands by the Tigers. The score 11-10 at half time did not do the Ikeys justice after dominating 30 mins of the half.
John Dobson clearly fired up the troops in the locker room as the Tigers, with the wind in their backs started the first 15mins of the 2nd half by putting the Hamiltons scrum under pressure thanks to a massive performance by props Ash “Gold Dust” Wells and Herbert Mayosie. Bodo Sieber and Mike Passaportis were also in fine form controlling the line-outs. Matt Rosslee added two penalties, when the Ikeys converted pressure into points.
Off a kick-off Hammies managed to stay in the UCT half and a knock-on just outside the 22m line gifted them a scrum. The hosts managed to score off first phase when the UCT backline slipped a tackle.
But nonetheless, it looked like UCT were on their way to an impressive victory as Therlow showed what a class player he is by stepping Terry Jacobs and cantering in for his 2nd of the day.
Matt Rosslee had added the conversion. Hamiltons looked shell-shocked and ready to accept defeat trailing by 10 points and 10mins left on the clock. UCT didn’t take their foot off the pedal at all but a silly error on their part of drifting off the attacker allowed Alshaun Bock sniping around the ruck, through the gap to run in for a 30metre try.
Hammies sensed a glimmer of hope and started playing with the self belief which saw them comeback and beat the Maties 1week ago. An uncharacteristic lack of focus in the defense of the Ikeys saw a half break and off-load to the Hammies no 14 who put his head down and raced in for the match winning try.
The Ikeys recovered quickly and reclaimed the kick-off putting together good phases which saw Therlow Pietersen cross over in the final second – however the touch judge ruled his foot had hit the touch line, no try, no glory.
UCT will be kicking themselves for missed opportunities but can be proud of the heart and commitment they showed on the field against the Hammies heavies.
UCT’s pack fronted up exceptionally and a Hammies front ranker was later heard as saying they had received a lesson in scrumming. UCT’s man of the match was Ash Wells with an excellent scrumming and fiery all round performance.
There was a nasty off the field incident, following a verbal altercation involving a Hamilton’s player, who was off duty, after having been red carded and suspended last week, and UCT and WP Vodacom No8 Jody Burch’s father. Mr Burch who needed medical attention after being punched by the player is likely to take legal steps.
Hamilton’s apologised for their player’s conduct and promised to deal with the matter. It was Jody Burch’s farewell match as he has received a well deserved call up for provincial duty.
UCT have two matches left, vs NNK and Kraaifontein before the mid year break.
Scorers: Sampson, Pietersen 2
report by D. Galley
UCT Ikey Tigers: 15 Therlow Pietersen, 14 Pete Haw, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Sean van Tonder, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Matt Rosslee, 9 JP Robert, 8 Jody Burch, 7 Craig Kleu, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Michael Passaportis, 4 Bodo Sieber (captain), 3 Herbie Mayosi, 2 Mark Goosen, 1 Ashley Wells.
Replacements: 16 Chris Darby, 17 Vakai Hove, 18 Don Armand, 19 Dane Galley, 20 Luzuko Panya, 21 Ian Armstrong, 22 Mike Nell.