Ikeys dig deep for winning start

The visitors from the fairest Cape, donning their famous blue and white hoops, drew first blood in the 2024 Varsity Cup, edging the Bloemfontein based Shimlas 38-32 in a hard-fought contest at Shimlas Park.

In the absence of injured skipper, Luthando Woji, lock Johan van Rhyn lead the Ikey Tigers out the tunnel carrying a unique flag – Designed by the players while on their pre-season camp in Hermanus, the squad discussed where they had come from and where they want to go – in line with the campaign theme which is Explorers … The pictures inside the Tiger are of the entire squad’s families.

The Shimlas outscored the visitors by five tries to three, but it was their discipline that let them down. And Ikeys wing, Ntokozo Makhaza , made them pay, landing less than seven penalties!

The home team were the first to score, via tighthead Riaan van der Merwe, who barged over for an unconverted try. The team from the Mother City struck back almost immediately with a double whammy from flankers Taariq Kruger and Sipho Dyonase, who finished off some free flowing, multi phase attack from the Ikeys.

Kwezi Dlamini then scored for the Shimlas from a quick tap, while Makhaza slotted two penalties for the visitors.

Zane Bester’s try for Shimlas made it a one-point ball game, but dead-eye-dick Makhaza nailed another penalty for the visitors to give them a 21-17 lead at the break.

In the second half, flyhalf Ethan Wentzel and scrumhalf Jandré Nel scored tries for the hosts, but it was not to be for the Shimlas as Player That Rocks, Rethabile Louw, got over in the corner for the Ikeys, while that man Makhaza notched up a further four penalties.

SCORERS

Shimlas 32 (17) – Tries: Riaan van der Merwe, Kwezi Dlamini, Zane Bester, Ethan Wentzel, Jandré Nel. Conversions: Ethan Wentzel (2). Penalties: Bradley Giddy

Ikeys 38 (21) – Tries: Taariq Kruger, Sipho Dyonase, Rethabile Louw. Conversion: Ntokozo Makhaza. Penalties: Makhaza (7)

FNB Player That Rocks: Rethabile Louw (Ikeys)

TEAMS:

Ikeys: Mhleli Khuzwayo, Keagan Blanckenberg, Bryan le Roux, Enos Ndiao, Johan van Rhyn, Sipho Dyonase, Taariq Kruger, Laro Delport, Riaan Genis, Kian Davis, Ntokozo Makhaza, Josh Boulle, Rethabile Louw, Luke Burger, Duran Koevort.

Shimlas: Ntokozo Hlophe, Liyema Mgwigwi, Riaan Jacobus van der Merwe, Pierre-Raymond Uys, Reinier Viljoen, Cornelius Hermanus Smit Volschenk, Siyambuka Sobe Nakhane Ningiza, Kwezi Dlamini, Jandré Nel, Ethan SJ Wentzel, Siviwe Zondani, Gideon Jooste Nel, Zane Bester, Kirwin Curtley Du Preez, Michael Annies.

RESULTS FROM ROUNDS 1:

AND THE LOG AFTER ROUND 1:

BELOW A FEW IMAGES FROM THE GAME: