While the Ikey Tigers departed the Varsity Cup on Monday night, they did so with their heads held high. The final semi-final scoreline between the Tigers and Shimlas was 21-10 in favour of the unbeaten Bloemfontein side.
Speaking as to how the team feel after loss, Ikey's coach Kevin Musikanth said: “No one likes to lose. We certainly didn't go to Bloemfontein to lose, and it's disappointing that it's the end of the road for us.”
Optimistically, however, he went on: “but we were a team when got together last year October, and we remain a team now.”
The Defending Champs were simply unable to gain any momentum against a powerful Shimlas side, especially in the second half. Following a disallowed try for UCT’s Richard Stewart, the team were left disgruntled. “Numerous penalties then followed made it very difficult for us to gain any good territorial platform,” said the coach, “despite our boys continuing to play.” A yellow card awarded to Lihleli Xoli with ten minutes to go also failed to assist their cause.
Musikanth was quick to praise his team’s efforts, saying “our defence was superb; our boys put heart and soul into the cause and prepared very well. They made us extremely proud, as management. In the end, all you can ask for is preparation and 100% on the park, and on that the team cannot be faulted. I am proud of our Ikey Tigers.”
He was also sure to praise Shimlas’ performance, noting that “Shimlas’ are extremely competitive, and it was a crash of note!”
Summarising this year’s Varsity Cup as a whole, he said “The tournament is a fantastic journey – we loved every minute of it. Of course, we are disappointed to be knocked out, but on the same note, it takes nothing away from the time spent together and the wonderful memories made.”