Ikeys lose tight opener

Ikeys 10 : 12 Maties

Stellenbosch University beat Cape Town University 12-10 at UCT’s Green Mile on Monday evening. It was a match which they Ikeys could and probably should have won.

The passionate and mostly blue and white crowd of almost 8 000, certainly did their best and kept their cheering till after the last minute, knowing that Maties had been beaten everywhere but on the scoreboard.

UCT scored the only try of the match and were  over the line on two other times – when on the first occasion when Marvin Christian’s barged over in the corner, a TMO decision  would have been a fair call, but the ref felt he had it covered and ruled held up. With four seconds to play Ikeys had a kick at goal – a difficult one, 30 metres out, 10 metres in and into the wind. The kick was wide.  In fact UCT missed five kicks at goal and preferred to run the easiest of them in search of a try.

Stellenbosch had four kicks at goal and kicked all four over for their winning points. They only once looked like scoring a try but had to settle for a penalty.

In addition UCT were severely penalised – 15 times in all to the ten of the Maties and three  of the ten came in the last few minutes,  a red card for Matie center Dabeon Draghoender for a dangerous tackle with minutes to go pile don the pressure. In all the Ikeys were penalised 12 times at the ruck, eventually JJ Gagiano was sent for the sin bin for repeated infringement at rucktime.

It was a match which the Ikeys certainly had every chance to win – not an expansive game, played in classic “varsity” wind it was a grimly fought match where every collision area was a war zone, and Stellenbosch probably did better there, winning several turnovers but they did precious little with the ball in hand.

The Ikeys played with the wind in the first half building their lead and they ended the second half much the stronger side coming desperately close to scoring tries on two occasions as they dominated the last 20 minutes.

Ikeys had a kick at goal in the first minute – a long kick which dipped just under the bar but on 9 minutes when Lourens Adriaanse was penalised at a scrum Matthew Rosslee goaled to make the score 3-0.

The war of attrition raged on till suddenly Stuart Commins broke it open. A line-out  had produced a tackle in midfield and suddenly the nippy scrumhalf darted past two Maties and raced over the 22 to score at the posts – a brilliant try. There were other moments of brilliance – from UCT fullback Tiger Bax and winger Marvin Christians – but none showed on the scoreboard. Rosslee converted. 10-0 after 21 minutes.

When the Maties’ handling let them down Peter Engelbrecht footed over the half-way line and down towards the Maties’ goal-line where Wilhelm Looch did well to cover to the ball and conceded a five-metre scrum.

From the scrum the Ikeys battered but were penalised at the tackle.

Maties, especially scrumhalf Donald Stevens, lobbed kicks into Ikey territory and one nearly bore a try as Hayden Groepes foot towards the goal-line. In came lock Don Armand, diving at the ball and being penalised for knocking Gropes over. 10-3.

During the last part of the half, the Ikeys eschewed an easy kick at goal, Christians launched a great counterattack and Commins went off in great pain, his arm dislocated.

When UCT were penalised for collapsing the maul illegally Stevens made it 10-6.  Then the Ikeys were yet again penalised in a tackle Maties made it 10-9. Then Gagiano was penalised at a tackle and yellow-carded for repeated infringement – Stevens made it 12-10.

In half two, Ikeys had little of the ball, with Maties using the wind, but still down to 14 men, just before Gagiano came back from the cooler they started dominating, spread the ball wide, got more possession and had the Maties scampering in defence.  Excellent play had the Ikeys pin the Maties in their half and 22 – just the points wouldn’t come. They attacked on the left and Christians went for the line. The referee decided that a try had not been scored. He had the best television match official in the land but did not use him though a replay suggested that the ball may well have been grounded in the Matie in-goal.

From the ensuing five-metre scrum, the Ikeys attacked again and this time strong running center Van Tonder was over. Again the referee ignored the TMO and awarded a five-metre scrum.

The Ikeys again seemed on the way to scoring a try with an overlap on the right. Don Armand chose to cut through the cover defense and was on the way to the line when a desperate tackle brought him down.

The last play was agonising for both sides when still at 10:12 Rosslee had a final difficult kick at goal and was short against the wind.


For UCT:
Try: Commins
Con: Rosslee
Pen: Rosslee

For Stellenbosch:
Pens: Stevens 4


UCT Ikey Tigers: 15 Tiger Bax, 14 Dane Johnson, 13 Peter Engelbrecht, 12 Sean van Tonder, 11 Marvin Christians, 10 Matt Rosslee, 9 Stu Commins, 8 JJ Gagiano (captain), 7 Enoch Panya, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Don Armand, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Dylan Rogers.
Replacements: 16 Mark Goosen, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 Dane Galley, 19 Kuselo Moyake, 20 Michael Morris, 21 Kyle Wickens, 22 Therlow Pietersen.

Maties: 15 Hayden Groepes, 14 Wilhelm Looch, 13 Dabeon Draghoender, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Llewellyn Winkler, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Donald Stevens, 8 Morné Hanekom, 7 Wesley Wilkens (captain), 6 Conraad Britz, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Marinus Pretorius, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 JP Köster, 1 Johan Roets.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Andrew Crusauz, 18 Erich Loubscher, 19 JP Mostert, 20 Kosie Eksteen, 21 Jean Stemmet, 22 Adnaan Osman

Referee: François Veldsman
Touch judges: Marc van Zyl, Roderick Barry
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman
Assessor: Arrie Schoonwinkel