Last night, the Ikey Tigers extended their away-game winning streak yet again when they beat UJ 37-29 in a rainy Johannesburg. It was an exciting Round Five fixture which saw UCT dominate at the scrums and line-outs, and whilst UJ were determined and fought back passionately, UCT were on form and maintained the intensity throughout.
As we have come to expect from the side, UCT flew out the gate, and gained an 8-0 lead within the first two minutes of the game. An early mistake from UJ led to the first scrum of the game, which then allowed the Ikey’s backline to move the ball through the hands to right-wing Richard Stewart who crossed the white and scored in the corner. While it was sent upstairs to the TMO, the try was awarded, flyhalf Dean Grant nailed the conversion, and the side had their early advantage.
Only minutes later, the visitors overturned a five-metre scrum on the UJ line, and the UCT front row forced the home team’s pack backwards giving eighthman Vince Jobo the chance to dot down the ball from the base. Grant once against slotted the conversion, leaving the scoreline at 16-0.
Next up, UCT turned over the ball in brilliant fashion after a comeback attempt by the hosts’ powerful forwards. UJ fumbled the clearing kick, which Grant quickly scooped up and passed along to fullback Ross Jones-Davies who gave a massive hand-off and crashed over on the left-hand side. While Grant missed the conversion, after just 13 minutes the Tigers were up 20-0 and UJ were left reeling.
Just before the first strategy break UJ got themselves onto the scoreboard with a try by winger P J Walters, who got his hands on the ball after a line-out sucked in the UCT defence and gave him the space to score. The yellow-carding of UCT’s Huw Jones for what was deemed cynical play was what led to line-out, after the kicked the ball away and deprived UJ of the quick ball. Fullback Marais Schmidt got the easy kick over and the scoreboard read 21-8.
UJ once again had their say with David Antonites crashing over the line after a powerful driving maul. Schmidt once again added the extra three points, and UCT found they had work to do to plug the leak: 21-16.
Keeping their cool in a tense situation, the Ikeys forward back dominated two penalty scrums, overpowered the hosts’ pack and consequently sent loose forward Guy Alexander over a try, securing the side’s bonus point. Grant’s conversion brought the score up to a healthy 29-16 lead at half-time.
UJ came out of the break guns blazing, and almost scored within the first few minutes. A try-saving tackle by the Ikeys, dragging UJ hooked Jannes Snyman’s foot into touch, prevented the scored, but there was no doubt that they hosts had been revived. The attempted come-back was, however, stopped in it’s tracks when both UJ captain Jaques Pretorius and UJ lock Shane Kirkwood were sent to the sin bin for foul play. The decision was ultimately given by TMO Jaco van Heerden, and the hosts were left reeling with only 13 men on the field. The Tigers took full advantage pushing UJ back to their tryline and speedster Lihleli Xoli burst over the white untouched. Grant secured the conversion, yet again, and UCT went up 37-16.
It seems the yellow cards were not yet done being dealt out, with UCT replacement back Martin Sauls being sent off for taking a man out in the air in an up-and-under. This coincided with Kirkwood and Potgieter returning to the field and UJ took advantage, securing their third try, which Schmidt converted: 37-24.
While UJ’s continued attack was spirited, the Tigers defence was fantastic and kept the hosts at bay until almost the last minute. One tiny crack gave way and allowed UJ’s Walters to creep over in the corner, giving the side two vital ponus points. However, that was to be the final score of the match and left it at 37-29 at full-time in favour of the Ikey Tigers.
The win sees UCT move up three places on the log into 3rd place, just behind reigning champions Tuks, and NWU-Pukke. Next up, the Tigers head back home to take on the Shimlas in the sixth round of the Varsity Cup.
For FNB UCT:
Tries: Stewart, Jobo, Jones-Davies, G Alexander, Xoli
Cons: Grant 4
For FNB UJ:
Tries: Walters 2, Antonites, Van der Walt
Cons: Schmidt 3
Yellow cards: Huw Jones, Shane Kirkwood and Jacques Pretorious, Martin Sauls.
15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Nicholas Holton, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 James Alexander (captain), 8 Vince Jobo, 7 Shaun McDonald, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Jan Uys, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Robin Murray.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Msizi Zondi, 18 Kyle Kriel, 19 Guy Alexander, 20 Liam Slatem, 21 Martin Sauls, 22 Suwilanju Chibale, 23 David Maasch.
15 Marais Schmidt, 14 PJ Walters, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Michael Haznar, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Jacques Pretorius (captain), 8 Kobus Porter, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Tiaan MacDonald, 5 David Antonites, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Van Zyl Botha, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Wiseman Kamanga.
Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Dylan Peterson, 20 Lukas van Zyl, 21 Juan Kotze, 22 Pieter Morton, 23 Hendrik Bredenkamp.