The University of Cape Town will be looking
for revenge when they host Stellenbosch University in what promises to be an
entertaining Intervarsity league meeting at Groote Schuur on Friday evening (kick-off
The Ikeys owe the Maties one after their
gut-wrenching loss in the final of the inaugural FNB Varsity Cup last month and
UCT head coach John Dobson has a host of fit-again stars to choose from for
this encounter at the ‘Green Mile’.
Squad captain JJ Gagiano is ready to take
the lead once again after picking up a nasty haematoma in that final, whilst
lock Mike Ledwidge and prolific wing-cum-fullback Mathew Turner are also back
to full fitness.
German international Bodo Sieber, back from playing two matches for his country and winning promotion to the European Nations Cup A, will add
even more fire to the Ikey Tigers’ second row, whilst powerful loose forward Jody Birch
is also eligible for selection after sitting out the Varsity Cup; along with
establish UCT players like Sieber and Vakai Hove – all of whom were too old to
play in the Competition.
“I guess it’s fair to say we owe Stellenbosch
one,” admitted Dobson this week. “Losing in the Varsity Cup Final was a bitter
pill to swallow for the squad and it certainly contributed to our poor start to
the league. That, and our long injury list – the Varsity Cup took its toll!”
Maties, after their fortuitous Varsity Cup
win in the dying seconds of regulation time, have been in fine form this since
then, picking up a maximum of 25 points from their first five league matches.
Dobson continued: “We all know that Maties
are never an easy side to beat, even at the ‘Green Mile’, but we’ve taken 10
points from our last two matches after an indifferent start.
“Our last game, a 32-7 away win over
Villagers, has given us a lot of confidence and it’s great to have some guys
back to full fitness for a big occasion like this.
“Intervarsities are always special affairs
and we’re hoping to maintain the vibe and the spirit from the Varsity Cup
semifinal against Pukke – a game that we will always remember at the club for
1. Ashley Wells, 2. JP Koster, 3 Herbert Mayosi, 4. Martin Miller,
5 Bodo Sieber, 6 Kyle Brown, 7. Jody Burch, 8 JJ Gagiano (c), 9 Danie
van der Merwe , 10 Matthew Rosslee, 11 Marcelo Sampson, 12 James Martin,
13 Tim Whitehead, 14 Matthew Turner, 15 Dave Clayton
16 Ashley Wells, 17 Vakai Hove, 18 Dylan Rodgers, 19 Enoch Panya, 20 Mike Ledwidge, 21 Kevin Foote, 22 Pete Haw