The rustiness after the long vac break was evident as the students went down to a steetwise SK Walmers on the Greenpoint track this Satuday. The Ikeys forwards dominated the scrums and line-outs at will, but SK played the breakdown smartly, more than happy with the refs interpretation and came out on top winning 16:11.
The students would have been favoured to win this clash – despite coming off varsity ‘vac’ – but they were not allowed to get into their stride against their plucky hosts in a stop-start match.
Flanker Luzuko Panya scored an early try, from a well executed rolling maul, and Matt Rosslee kicked two penalties for the visitors who scored all their 11 points in the first half.
The Ikeys had their hands full at the breakdown with SK targeting any ball carrier who was not immediately supported. The hosts also understood to play the ref’s interpretation of the ruck and piled in from the sides wherever possible obstructing the Ikeys scrumhalf or slowing down the ball and UCT’ momentum.
There were calls for consistency, as the dominant UCT racked up a staggering 18 penalties against them, compared to 7 against SK Walmers.
UCT reacted by keeping the ball tighter and made good and safe yards, but scoring opportunities were rare especially out wide.
SK did not have any scoring opportunities at all, spending most of the time playing aerial ping pong and only rarely moving past the Ikeys 10 meter line or deeper into the danger zone. Their flyhalf however added some points with drop goals which kept them in the game.
In the second half UCT showed their dominance winning two tightheads and ended up with a scrum and very likely pushover try about 8 meters out. Again the dominance was not used and the hosts ended up turning the ball over just meters outside their tryline and attacking from deep.
UCT in a desperate attempt to slow down the ball and counter attack were yellow carded after what should have been a sure 7 points. Shortly after, the SK backs managed one of their classic breaks following a turn over and sped away from the half way line to score their only try to make it 16:11.
The Ikeys tried hard to push for points, but two penalties in kickable positions could not be converted. All in all an incredibly frustrating afternoon for the blue and white. However US Eagles international JJ Gagiano was back and in great form as was the lively Hanyani Shimange at hooker.
UCT have another league match this week, against Victorians at the Danie Craven Stadium on Wednesday evening, and they will also be playing a friendly against Saracens at the Green Mile on Friday.
Try: Enoch Panya
Pens: Matt Rosslee 2
UCT Ikey Tigers:
15 Therlow Pietersen, 14 Dane Johnson, 13 Sean van Tonder, 12 Ollie Braithwaite 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Matt Rosslee, 9 JP Robert, 7 JJ Gagiano, 7 Nick Fenton-Wells, 6 Luzuko Panya, 5 Don Armand, 4 Bodo Sieber (captain), 3 Herbie Mayosi, 2 Hanyani Simane, 1 Ashley Wells.
Replacements: 16 Dayne Jans, 17 Dylan Rogers, 18 Shane Meier 19 Michael Passaportis 20 Craig Kleu, 21 Ian Armstrong, 21 Tim Whitehead, 22 Rob Hopwood.