Infernal mutterings from an ancient rugby relic – ‘Reflections from Grahamstown’

Wherever one wanders about South Africa, the influence and ethos of rugby runs deep in our national consciousness.

I was very much aware of the role rugby plays in my life during a five day visit to Grahamstown to celebrate the founding of my old school, Graeme College. During my five days spent in the Eastern Cape, umpteen games of rugby were played in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Far and away the most important game played from a personal point of view, was the Ikey Tigers clash at the Green Mile against UJ. As I did not see the game, I turned to my ever reliable UCT rugby source, Bodo Sieber, for his take on the game. Missed chances against a well prepared UJ, and the ever present rub of the green, seems to have played a big part in our disappointing loss at a crucial stage of the competition.

Now it is a guerilla warfare campaign to the finishing post to secure a semi-final berth; and it is going to be a particularly hard campaign for the Ikey Tigers without three key players away on SA Under 20 duty, others snaffled by W.P, and one or two others battered and bruised by the intensity of the Varsity Cup Competition. One thing remains a reassuring constant in the permutations of surviving the next two weeks of the competition and securing a semi-final berth. The calibre of the players, the coaches, and the other crucial behind the scenes personnel, driving the Ikey Tiger’s 2011 campaign, will ensure that no stone will be left unturned to find the magic to finish the battle with the flourish we will all applaud.

The significant role the newly formed Ikey Foundation is playing in building for the future of the UCT Rugby Club is reflected by the stunning response of UCT rugby folk in signing up as proud members. The response has been fantastic, and all praise to you new members.

It is also time to pay tribute to the laudable contribution made over many years by the 200 Club members to the fortunes of our special rugby club. Quietly and unstintingly, 200 Club contributors dug deep to give back to their club, and to work behind the scenes to ensure that UCT rugby never lost its way; it may have wandered down a few stony, thorn infested tracks, but it always fought its way back to the main road; the Varsity Rugby Highway.

Times are a changing, as Bob Dylan was wont to warble. We urge all 200 Club members who have not signed up as members of the  Ikey Foundation, to absorb the urgency of putting in place structures which will ensure that the almost exponential increase since the mid eighties in meeting the costs of running a successful and sustainable rugby club at the highest level of university and league club rugby can be met. We further urge them to be as generous and caring as they were during their 200 Club tenure, by signing up now (click here: Ikey Foundation).

The club needs all of you, and the club cares what you think about its future. We will accommodate your special status as loyal 200 Club members for so many years. Watch this space.