It has been an incredible season filled with shocking defeats, close calls and miraculous wins for the Ikey Tigers, and come Monday the 7th of April, the 2014 Varsity Cup will draw to a close when they take on NWU-Pukke in Potchefstroom.
Yesterday’s team announcement sees no changes made to the Ikeys team that beat Maties 20-8 in the semis. The boys will be looking to generate continuity with the lack of changes, and put on a massive performance away from home.
In the past two weeks, UCT have been working had to prepare for Monday’s game, their biggest encounter yet. ‘’Prep is going well, and the boys are very excited for Monday,’’ said captain Liam Slatem.
Speaking with a hint of nostalgia, UCT coach Kevin Musikanth said ‘’we have spend a good two weeks together and are sad that the Varsity Cup journey is coming to an end.’’
‘’As far as the result is concerned and the approach to the game we have prepared in the same manner as we have always prepared,’’ he went on.
As the coach remarked, it is fitting for the Ikeys to be taking on Pukke in the final given that they lost 24-47 to the Potchefstroom side in the first round of the tournament. However, seems as UCT have made such great strides since that first game, mentally, it is not the same side who will take the field on Monday.
In terms of how the team are feeling ahead of the match, Slatem said ‘’we are confident and believe in our team and structures. We are extremely focused and really just want to go and play the rugby we know we can play. No matter the outcome, we are thrilled with the performance of the entire squad throughout the campaign. It has been unforgettable and a season we intend to finish well.’’
And whatever the outcome, it is going to be a brilliant game on Monday with two fierce sides clashing in the final of what has been a great tournament.
Ending things off, Musikanth said: ‘’ultimately if we want to call ourselves Varsity Cup champions we need to have what it takes to go out to Potch and beat Pukke in their own backyard. Our team and coaching staff have tremendous work ethic and we are going all in for the Varsity Cup final. May the best team win.’’
The game kicks off at 19:00 on Monday, and will of course be broadcast on Supersport for all those Ikey supporters who can’t cheer their side on at the game. Also read: Where to watch the Varsity Cup Final
15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Michael Botha, 7 Vince Jobo, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Digby, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Kyle Kriel, 19 Guy Alexander, 20 James Alexander, 21 Martin Sauls, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 David Maasch.