On Monday night, the Ikey Tigers were at the losing end of their encounter with Tuks in the second round of the Varsity Cup – the final score sitting at 24-39.
Given surprise injuries before the game, and speaking to what he believes went wrong, Ikey’s coach Kevin Musikanth said: “It was always going to be a tough assignment to start with, but losing Richard Stewart, Mike Kennedy, and our captain Michael Botha just 24 hours before leaving didn't help matters.”
Furthermore, “our preparation was very good but unfortunately against Tuks, to come away with the win, you need to be near perfect and we had a poor start.”
Tuks were the only side the defending champions were unable to beat in 2014, a fact they were wary of going into Monday’s game.
Following a try by the Tuks early on, the Tigers were 0-8 down at the first strategy break, and by half time the home side had doubled this lead, with no reply.
“We weren't without opportunities and the resolute Tuks defence kept us at bay,” said the coach. “The score was deadlocked for a long time, but we failed to capitalize on 4 try scoring opportunities that presented themselves to us in the first half.”
With a near come-back towards the end of the match, the Tigers were consistent in their efforts. In terms of which areas of the team excelled, Musikanth said, “Once again we fought to the end. Scoring twice in the last 7 minutes, with 3 minutes to go it looked like we may snatch another try. While we didn’t manage to do so, it was again testament to the boys’ commitment to never stop playing.”
With one draw, and one loss in the competition, the Ikeys will be looking to capitalize on their second home game of the season next week – against FNB NMMU.