Champions in Blue! UCT celebrate a famous season, having played in their away kit – colour of choice against the maroon hooped Vics.
Varsity Cup champions, Ikey TIgers, claimed an historic trophy double with their 35-29 win over Victorians on Saturday giving them a first WP Super League title since 1974.
Earlier this week, Ikeys coach Kevin Foote spoke of the need for his team to remain patient against Vics, but even Foote would have been a bit nervous after thirty minutes with his team trailing by 5-22.
However, the home side remained calm and simply upped the pressure just on half-time, with two yellow cards (to Vics) and a penalty try (to the Ikeys) putting them in touch at the break as they trailed by 12-22.
A Mark Winter try double – his second putting UCT in the lead for the first time, as they put one hand on the Super League title in the process – saw the Ikeys take a 26-22 lead after 48 minutes.
Three more Nick Holton penalties made it 35-22 to the hosts with just over five minutes remaining before a converted Vics try set up an exciting finish.
UCT, however, kept Vics at bay with some resolute defence – much like they did to FNB Tuks in the 2011 Varsity Cup Final in Pretoria back in April.
Ikeys coach Foote and his team – so brilliantly led by Don Armand in the absence of Nick Fenton-Wells – were understandably elated at the final whistle, knowing that the Class of 2011 would go down in the annals of UCT history as arguably the best modern-day First XV side.
Not only did the Men in Blue & White win a first-ever league title since 1974 (during the era of Peter Whipp and co.), but they won 13 matches in a row – including four bonus points in their last six games, their last defeat coming against Hamilton’s in April – en route to doing it.
“My boys are all heroes,” Armand (pictured, above) told the Cape Argus on Sunday.
“We’ve lived for this moment for the entire season and now we’ve realised it. All the boys who played for us throughout the year have worn and respected the jersey.”
Proud UCT Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price was one of the first to congratulate the team: “It was thrilling game, a brilliant climax to the year!”.
There were also two Ikeys among the many Old Boys in the lively stands that were part of the 1974 side that last lifted the League Trophy, then known as “Grand Challenge” – the delighted Butch Deuchar and Andy Donovan.
Congratulations to all Ikeys – players and supporters!
For FNB UCT:
Tries: Rijs, Penalty try, Winter 2
Cons: Holton 3
Pens: Holton 3
For Steinhoff Victorians:
Tries: Hopkins, Brown
Cons: Potgieter 2
Pens: Potgieter 5
UCT: 15 Ricky Rijs, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 André Coetzer, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Nick Farrar, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Ntsolo Setlaba, 6 Don Armand (captain), 5 Brad Bosman, 4 Pallo Manuel, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Timmy Louw, 17 Digby Webb, 18 James Kilroe, 19 Zandy Macdonald, 20 Steve Wallace, 21 Angelo Pecego, 22 Jannie Bester.
Victorians: 15 Chris Hopkins, 14 Dwain Brown, 13 Stefan Venter, 12 Jody Rose, 11 Deego Arends, 10 JH Potgieter, 9 Gideon Strydom, 8 Nicolas de Jager, 7 Marco van Eeden, 6 Christiaan van der Merwe, 5 Schalk Ferreira, 4 Rudi van der Zee, 3 Suan Havenga 2 Neethling Gericke, 1 Nian Bergh.
Replacements: 16 Wessel Lourens, 17 Boeta Kleynhans, 18 Shaun McDonald, 19 Chris Louw, 20 James Alexander, 21 Dean Grant, 22 Mark Esterhuizen.
The WP Super League log:
(Played, won, points)
1. FNB UCT 18, 15, 70
2. FNB Maties 18, 14, 69
3. Hamilton’s 18, 13, 66
4. Durbanville-Belville 18, 10, 55
5. SK-Walmers 17, 11, 53
6. Victorians 17, 7, 44
7. False Bay 18, 8, 40
8. Villager’s 18, 6, 28
9. Belhar 18, 3, 19
10. Helderberg 18, 1, 10
With thanks to varsitycup.co.za