UCT 55 – Tukkies 24
In a magnificent display of running rugby, the University of Cape Town (UCT) ran in eight tries to beat their Pretoria rivals, Tukkies, 55-24 in a thrilling FNB Varsity Cup match in front of a packed crowd at Groote Schuur on Monday night. It is the second big upset of Round Two of South Africa’s exciting new universities tournament, a venture that has the pulses racing.
The first upset was at the weekend when Tswane University for Technology (TUT) beat the fancied North-West University (NWU-Puk) 18-16 in Potchefstroom.
On Monday, at the famous ‘Green Mile’ in Cape Town, the Ikey Tigers were lifted to victory by speedy wing Marvin Christians, who scored four tries, whilst fellow wing Rob Hopwood contributed a brace.
It was a display of all-out attack that had Tukkies rattled from the outset. They simply could not deal with the slick handling of the Cape students.
UCT’s outside centre, James Martin, was superb – breaking tackles at will and always looking for support. Four-try hero Christians can thank Martin and his fellow inside backs for creating the space needed for him to weave his magic.
Tukkies were never really in the game, struggling to come to terms with a motivated UCT team.
Not only were the home team brilliant on attack, but they defended with gusto, driving Tukkies back with big hit after big hit.
However, the visitors – who staged a remarkable comeback against Stellenbosch last week to draw 31-all, again finished the game strongly.
They were rewarded for their efforts with a bonus point fourth try in the dying seconds – a score that could prove to be important at the business-end of the competition.
UCT’s skipper, No.8 JJ Gagiano, lead from the front with a storming display, as well as a deft off-load that allowed wing Rob Hopwood to score his first try.
Ikeys No.1 Herbie Mayosi – a cult favourite at the home of the game – was a standout in the front row; his work-rate was outstanding and he was rewarded for his efforts with a second-half try.
“The result is obviously a terrific one for us – I was very impressed with the guys’drive and commitment in the lead-up to this match,” said UCT coach John Dobson afterwards.
“They put last week’s disappointment against Pukke behind them and showed what they’re capable of, but we’re well aware that it will only get tougher for us now that our home matches are over.
“The support at the ‘Green Mile’ was absolutely fantastic on the night and the guys deserve to enjoy this win, but it’s back to square one next week when we hit the road.”
Next week the Ikey Tigers will travel to Johannesburg to take on UJ who just lost to Shimlas (54:6) and will be looking to get back on track on their homeground.
Tries: Christians 4, Hopwood 2, Koster, Mayosi.
Cons: Roslee 5, Goosen
Tries: Van den Heever, Coetzer, Windvogel, Grobler
Cons: Boshoff, Kruger
Ikeys Team: 15 Matthew Turner; 14 Marvin Christians, 13 James Martin, 12 Pieter Engelbrecht, 11Robert Hopwood; 10 Matthew Rosslee, 9 D van der Merwe; 8 JJ Gagiano, 7 Craig Kleu, 6 Luzuko Panya, 5 Donovan Armand, 4 Michael Ledwige, 3 Dylan Rogers, 2 JP Koster, 1 Herbert Thembelani Mayosi.
Reserves: Mark Goosen, Wesley Chetty, K Brown, Kyle Wickens, Peter Haw, Marcelo Sampson.