It is definitely a case of the morning after the night before. Late yesterday evening it sunk into my consciousness that the Maties had clinically preyed on our spate of mistakes on the field, after softening us up, up front. Losing is no fun, and losing to Stellenbosch is very much like having root canal treatment without happy gas. After a while the pain subsides, but the hurt lingers.
Napoleon said, “Victory has many fathers; defeat is a lonely orphan.”
The message from the ever growing Ikey Tigers support base is that you are not orphans left blowing in the wind. One lame old swallow doth not a summer make, with apologies to the Bard. You will have learnt more from last evenings rugby happening at the Green Mile(briefly renamed ‘The Green No Smile’), than you will have learnt from the streak of previous victories. Absorb the lessons, move on, and above all else, remember that you are Ikey Tigers. You have a terrific squad, outstanding coaches, the best Sports Scientist in the world, Prof. Tim Noakes, the only attractive manager in the game, a bevy of female fans, a loyal support base, and one day in the near future, a new homebase with a big cupboard to display all the silverware you are going to collect. You also have something the rugby club has not had in many ages; a Vice Chancellor who understands the value of a viable, sustainable rugby club, and actively lends constructive support.
This has been a big week for me. My close friend and UCT team mate from the sixties, Neville Isdell, who until quite recently was a roving Coca Cola salesman, was in Cape Town to launch his inspirational project to kickstart the UCT Rugby Club, in conjunction with the University, into acquiring an alternative homebase for all their big games. Despite all the history and nostalgia attached to The Green Mile, UCT needs a suitable facility close to the campus for the development of a range of sporting activities. Rugby will be entitled to a reasonable degree of primacy at the new venue, due to the success of the Ikey Tigers in the highly publicized and popular Varsity Cup Competition, and the significant benefits accruing to the university from its rugby club.
I will know if Neville reads my column. If a hitman appears from nowhere to kneecap me, because I referred to him a ‘roving Coca Cola salesman’, it will mean that he does sometimes read my blurb. In straightforward terms, he has put his money where his mouth is, or more poetically, where his heart lies in Cape Town. From his student days at Smuts Hall, with time off for good behaviour, and spells in hiding in Fuller Hall, Neville rose to head Coca Cola worldwide.
During the week a gathering of some of the older UCT rugby fraternity was put together by John Le Roux to enable Dave Vanrenen and Neville Isdell to spend time with their bursary recipients, Xhanti Nesi, Marcel Brache, Donovan Armand and Nic Groom. It was so successful that Bodo Sieber has applied for a post graduate rugby bursary.
Ikey Tigers, the big show has only just begun. Show us all your stuff next week.