With the first game of the 2014 Varsity Cup on the horizon, the Ikey Tigers are finishing up the last of their pre-season training. As part of their preparation for the big season ahead, the boys headed across to Plett for a four day training camp during the third week of January.
Speaking about the camp, Kevin Musikanth, the Director of Rugby at UCT said “The purpose of the camp this year was to prepare the squad for the rigours of the Varsity Cup.” As well as lending towards cohesiveness and camaraderie, he went on, “It was a rugby match intensive camp with two games in 4 days to test the mettle of the extended squad”.
The team beat provincial outfit SWD Eagles 24:19 at the latter's home turn at Outeniqua park in George. Then the Tigers took on the EP Kings academy in another pre-season friendly, using two separate teams for each half. During the first half, the first team scored 29 points to the 5, the Kings accumulated. In the second half, the second team extended that lead to 66-8.
Stand out players during the match included Guy Alexander, who “showed class in his first UCT outing”, said Musikanth. Other exciting youngsters such as center/fullback Martin Sauls and Tom Bednall stuck their hands up too, and the coaches were pleased with big lock Sean Macdonald's (pictured) hard and abrasive contribution.
In the scrum-half position, both newly-appointed captain Liam Slatem (pictured) and young James Alexander had the game under control. While the above got a mention, Musikanth stressed: "The squad played as a unit, rather than going for individual stand-out performances. It has to be said that the cohesiveness of the team is outstanding."
Expressing the excitement of the season to come, he said, “This group have pledged to the Ikey Tiger cause and have promised to give 100% of themselves to make UCT proud.” All in all, the camp was a massive success and the squad left Plett and headed home for the first match of the Varsity Cup a tight unit.
On Thursday evening the squad will have their official Ikeys Blazer hand over ceremony at Smuts res, overlooking the Green Mile. A special event for the UCT boys.
Tickets for the Ikeys Varsity Cup opener on Monday 3rd of Feb at 17.00 are available on webtickets – click here to get yours, alternatively you can get your ticket on Jammie Plaza or a limited amount of tickets at the gates – all R20.