Log points will obviously be the main priority for FNB UCT when they travel to Port Elizabeth to face up to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Varsity Cup action this coming Monday, but the Men from Cape Town will also be playing for something – or rather somebody – else.
Monday’s Varsity Cup clash will double up as the inaugural Monte Taljaard Trophy fixture – in memory of outstanding young UCT flanker Monte Taljaard who tragically lost his life in a motor car accident last September.
Taljaard, a Grey PE old boy, was a popular and talented member of UCT’s 2008 Varsity Cup squad and had been earmarked to play a leading role in this year’s FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
Ikeys head coach John Dobson – who coached Taljaard at Under-21 level in 2007 and senior level last year – told uctrfc.co.za: “Monte was a once-in-a-generation guy and player. He is still missed at the club to this day and will never be forgotten by anybody who was lucky enough to come into contact with him.
“Hopefully this game, the Monte Taljaard Trophy, will ensure that those who did not know him will also realise what a special guy he was.
“Monte was a proud Grey scholar and a proud UCT student… it’s almost fitting that these two fine universities from PE and Cape Town, two cities where he made such a significant impact, will honour his name for the first time – and certainly not the last time – on Monday.”
UCT assistant coach Robbie Fleck echoed John Dobson’s views: “Monte was a true legend in PE and he made a massive impact at UCT in a very short space of time and we want to win this match for him!”
Aside from the first-ever Monte Taljaard Trophy match, the Ikey Tigers have also played with the wording ‘Monte’ on their collars during the 2009 Varsity Cup as a tribute to their former teammate.
“(Varsity Cup MD) Duitser Bosman and his team have been phenomenal in allowing us to honour Monte in this way,” said Dobson. “We certainly don’t want to take any focus away from this fantastic competition – but Monte was not just a loss to UCT, he was also a loss to the Varsity Cup and the rugby-playing fraternity of South Africa.
“Winning is important and we’d dearly love to win the Varsity Cup as a further tribute to Monte, but when someone like Monte is taken away from you at such a young age, it tends to put 80 minutes of rugby into perspective for both players and coaches.”
If you would like to find out more about the Monte Taljaard Bursary, click HERE.
To download a pdf with all relevant information please click HERE