John Dobson’s Ikey Tigers tonight narrowly missed out on beating a provincial team, when they took on a plucky Boland side on the windy Green Mile and went down 12:14.
The Ikeys were outscored by two tries to nil, with four penalties from flyhalf Matt Rosslee keeping them in the game and very nearly giving them a famous victory over their more fancied provincial opponents.
Down 9-14 at half-time, after playing into the wind in the first half, the students ‘won’ the second half 3-0 – but they certainly had their chances to win the match with the wind at their backs.
“We were obviously very disappointed to lose in the end,” Dobson said “But maybe it’s not a bad thing (to lose) before the start of a big tournament like the Varsity Cup – especially after such a physical game, which in many ways was a typical ‘old school’ clash.
“The only disappointment for me was that we scored just three points with the wind at our backs, but, overall, I thought it was a very beneficial game (for us) – especially at this stage of the season.
“We made a lot of changes in the second half and spent the last thirty minutes of the game with a second string team,” he added, “but I had a good look at all the players available to me and from that point of view I was very satisfied.”
Dobson’s next job, ahead of next Monday’s season-opener against the Shimlas in Port Elizabeth, is to trim his current squad down to 30 players on Tuesday – “We’re going to have to make some tough selection choices,” he added - before finalising his 23-man matchday squad for February 1.
“It was the perfect final selection exercise and we’re all looking forward to next Monday’s opening game against Shimlas,” concluded the Ikey Tigers boss.
Pens: Rosslee 4
The UCT team: 15 Pete Haw, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Sean van Tonder, 11 Michael Nel, 10 Matt Rosslee, 9 Stu Commins (captain), 8 JJ Gagiano, 7 Michael Morris, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Mike Ledwidge, 4 Don Armand, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Mark Goosen, 1 Ash Wells.
Replacements – from: Matt Page, Chris Heidberg, Wesley Chetty, Levi Odendaal, Sam Peters, Greg Mallett, André Goosen, Kyle Wickins, Nic Groom, Doug Mallett, Jannie Bester, Paul Cohen, Zubayer Abrahams, Trent Jenkinson.
Referee: Francois Veldsman