Opening gaps – Ikeys man of the match Mark Esterhuisen (photo Peter van As)
The Ikey Tigers faced staunch opposition in their derby clash with False Bay on Saturday, but managed to clinch a tight win beating the newly promoted Bay 16:15 with a late penalty.
UCT played with the wind in the first half and did most of the playing, with almost all of the action happening in Bay territory. But the visitors defended well against the students who struggled to benefit from the territorial advantage and only claimed two penalties to go ahead 6:0.
It was a typical derby game with bloody minded physicality, every inch fough over and heavily defended and several minutes in, it was getting obvious that the match was never going to be a free flowing game of rugby.
The scrums were heavily contested with most of them having to be reset several times, UCT managed to gain a slight advantage in the set-piece, with props Wes Chetty and Grant Kemp working hard.
The Ikeys entrenched firmly in the opposition half were driven back time and again by the determined Bay defense and were unable to finish off any chances they had in the half. They only booked two Matt Rosslee penalties to take a narrow lead into halftime and were now facing a tough 40 minutes into the wind.
The Tigers are of course well accustomed to the windy conditions and held onto the ball well, taking it through phases and immediately looked more dangerous than in the first half, but every mistake was punished by a long kick with the home side having to build their attack again.
It was False Bay however who drew first blood in the half with a clinically finished try in the corner. UCT were getting frustrated having been denied points with many chances
but stuck to their guns and opened the game, when center Mark Esterhuisen found a gap and darted over from close range, Rosslee converted and UCT were up 13:10.
But it was False Bay again who capitalised on an overlap and scored again in the same corner to take a 15:13 lead with 15 minutes to play.
UCT fought their way back into the Bay half, but were pushed back by turn-overs and penalties until finally they got the chance for points which Matt Rosslee made sure off in match winning style to make it 16:15 with second to play.
But the game was not over yet and the ref penalised UCT off the kick-off and False Bay signalled for posts in extra time. The kick was wide and UCT claimed the points.
The game had everything one expects from a derby, physicality, drama and a tight finish. A mention needs to go to the crowd who were vocal and enjoyed the heated battle on the field, but had the respect to stay quiet for both kickers attempts at goal.
For UCT flank Zandy MacDonald caught they eye with the ball in hand and fullback Marcel Brache found plenty of gaps out wide, but it was hard running center Mark Esterhuise who scored the only try and claimed the well deserved Man of the Match award.
With Maties losing to Hamiltons UCT are now the only unbeaten team in the league and they a going into a massive two weeks facing both teams – 2009 SA Club Champs Hamiltons this weekend and Varsity Cup champions Maties at Intervarsity the week after.
UCT Ikey Tigers: 15 Marcel Brache, 14 Paul Cohen, 13 Mark Estherhuizen, 12 Sean van Tonder, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Matt Rosslee (vice-captain), 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nick Fenton-Wells (captain), 7 Enoch Panya, 6 Zandy Macdonald, 5 Bodo Sieber, 4 Don Armand, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Mark Goosen, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Matt Page, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Levi Odendaal, 19 Sam Peter, 20 Sharief Hendricks, 21 Pete Haw, 22 Zubayr Abrahams.
Other Super League results:
Hamitons 44-30 Maties
Villagers 16-22 Durbanville
NNK 10-27 Vics
SK Walmers 35-28 Helderberg
The WP Super League log:
(Under played, won, points)
1. Maties 5, 4, 21
2. Durb-Bell 4, 3, 14
3. UCT 3, 2, 12
4. Hamilton’s 3, 2, 11
5. False Bay 3, 2, 10
6. SK Walmers 3, 2, 10
7. Helderberg 3, 0, 5
8. Victorians 4, 1, 5
9. Villager’s 3, 0, 2
10. NNK 3, 0, 0