UCT 46:9 Tygerberg
The Ikey Tigers beat their battling rivals Tygerberg to defend the "Tiger Cup", which the two teams play out each year, in memory of Immanuel McKenzie, the charismatic lock who had played for both clubs.
Immanuel played at a very strong Tygerberg set-up some years back and also played Vodacom Cup for WP, before joining UCT for two seasons – he was a member of the famous Ikeys team that won the 2004 Intervarsity. Saturday’s match was a special occasion, as a number of his friends and team mates were on the field for either team.
Immanuel passed away tragically, as a result of a heart attack,
during a 1st league match in April 2006, after returning to Tygerberg.
It was UCT’s 1st Saturday home match in many weeks, and the impending exams did not seem to fluster many of the students that play for UCT, because up until the 1st team match UCT claimed a full round of victories, with the exception of the coveted MC Marais side.
The 1st XV match started well for the Ikeys who were on the front foot straight away and looked set for a quality performance on this perfect and sunny rugby day. The first try was scored only a few minutes in, when Pieter Engelbrecht sent fellow center Tim Whitehead into a gap. The "Toolman" came at a great angle and cut through the defense for the try of the day as he sprinted 40m to score under the posts. Pete Haw, in at flyhalf for Matt Rosslee who took a well earned rest, kept UCT’s intensity up and the defense guessing. Shortly after the restart and with not even 10 minutes gone varsity lock Mike Ledwidge had to come off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Don Armand.
The youngster had already played most of the U20 match, which was won 98:7 but showed no sign of tired legs and put in a great hard working performance, winning some crucial turnovers for his team. Fellow lock, Bodo Sieber was back from injury and stood out with hard defense, solid under the high ball and in the lineouts. UCT kept up the intensity and piled on the points with a very well organised and composed attack, that turned pressure into plenty of tries by Matt Turner, as well as powerhouses Jody Burch and Pieter Engelbrecht after strong runs. By halftime the Ikeys had pulled away and Tygerberg had tried their best, but never even came close to scoring a try – 6 points from penalties was all they had to show for their efforts.
UCT continued their dominance after the break, with a Matt Turner try just two minutes in. The speedy wing who had another strong game, bounced his opposite number to crash over in his favorite corner. Now the game became a frustrating stop start affair, with too many handling errors turning into scrum after scrum, half of which had to be reset. UCT scored again through a Marcello Sampson try, but the game’s rhythm was gone and one had the feeling that the ref now started feeling sorry for the guests, as UCT were penalised a plenty and on a number of occasions penalised again by the increasingly pedantic man with the whistle for being 9.7 and not 10 meters back.
The penalty count was eventually more than twice the amount against the Ikeys and the flow of the game had totally disintegrated. UCT scored another try through replacement fullback Rob Hopwood, who has finally shaken off his injury and both sides exchanged penalties and it was concerning to see the once so powerful Tygerberg team opt for 3 points with 30 points down, rather than backing themselves for a try. The final score was 46:9.
The Ikey Tigers did well to keep their tryline clean and get five log points through some well worked tries, but would have been frustrated with the way the game was going towards the end.
UCT’s man of the match was flyhalf Pete Haw, who created opportunities and organised his backline like an old hand.
After the match the Tiger Cup was handed to UCT captain JJ Gagiano, following moving speeches in memory of Immanuel McKenzie by UCT coach John Dobson (who had coached "Makka" during the 2004 IV win) and Tygerberg’s President and Springbok Selector Peter Jooste.
The match was also watched by a special guest – varsity legend Stephen "Snoopy" Knoop, who played for Ireland’s Connacht and this season moved to Leinster, where he helped himself to a couple of Heineken Cup caps. Snoopy, also a member of the Ikeys of 2004, had a memorable appearance in the Cage, the Tigers’ changeroom where he helped the boys celebrate their victory after also paying tribute to "Makka".
Tries: Whitehead, Turner (2), Sampson, Burch, Engelbrecht, Hopwood
Kicks: Wickens, Haw
1. Vakai Fish Hove, 2. Brad Gornall, 3 Herbert Mayosi, 4. Mike Ledwidge, 5. Bodo Sieber 6. Luzuko Panya, 7. Jody Burch, 8 JJ Gagiano (c), 9
Kyle Wickens, 10 Peter Haw, 11 Marcelo Sampson, 12 Pieter Engelbrecht,
13 Tim Whitehead, 14 Matthew Turner, 15 Dave Clayton
16 Mark Goosen, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 Don Armand, 19 Kyle Brown, 20
Matias ‘Chili’ Vergara, 21, James Martin, 22 Rob Hopwood
Super League A Log (26 May 2008)
Team pl won lost BP
STELLENBOSCH 9 9 0 0 9 340 195 145 45
HAMILTONS 7 6 1 0 5 278 84 194 29
VILLAGER 8 5 3 0 5 252 232 20 25
VICTORIANS 9 3 6 0 9 279 271 8 21
SKW 6 4 2 0 4 198 112 86 20
UCT 7 3 4 0 5 192 144 48 17
DURB BELL 7 3 4 0 3 171 158 13 15
HELDERBERG 5 1 4 0 4 137 202 -65 8
TYGERBERG 7 1 6 0 2 150 294 -144 6
NNK 7 1 6 0 1 80 387 -307 5