January 2009 newsletter






200 Club Newsletter
The Official Newsletter of the Ikey Tigers    Issue 1, January2009

Compliments of the season to you all and we here at UCTRFC wish you all the best for 2009!
After the amazing success of the 2008 Varsity Cup, this year already promises to be an exciting one for us. The squad has been hard at work over the summer break and it is wonderful to watch them on the fields early in the morning. Their dedication and determination cannot be faulted!
I have included some reports for your interest as well as fixtures for the Varsity Cup. The opening match is on Monday 2nd February against Maties at the Green Mile. This game will be televised, for those of you not able to make it, but for those living close we look forward to seeing you cheering the team on! Kickoff is at 16:45.
Go Ikey Tigers we are with you all the way!
The Editor
The Ikey Tigers started their rigorous pre season training in November of 2008, with physical testing at the Sports Science Institute. The boys were given a week or two off and then started with their gym programmes and on field sessions. This is a big achievement, traditionally Varsity only really gets going in middle of January.
A large squad has been assembled and everyone is very excited. Surprisingly the squad is younger than it was last year, which is hard to believe!!! We have lost a few key players due to age and higher honours, most notably, Craig Kleu, James Martin, Dave Edgar, Herbie Mayosi and Kyle Brown to the South African 7’s Squad. The squad has amazing depth and it gives the opportunity for the youngsters to step up and make their mark.
We were given 12 days off over the festive season before we went on our pre season camp to Elgin on 3 January, which was great for team building as the boys were put through their physical and mental paces. The field training for the New Year started on 5 January, and we have been going 6 days a week sometimes twice a day. The boys are definitely getting the miles on the clock!!! We will start to ease off as we get nearer the start of the Varsity Cup. The team is looking in great shape.
We are being carefully monitored by our fitness training by Tiaan with our weekly HIMS Testing at Sports Science. We held our trials on 13January in the format of 10’s. This is great way to test fitness and skill; the coaches were very impressed with the skill and commitment levels so early on in the season. There was definitely a little bit of banter between the coaches during the trials as each one was responsible for a team.
The coaches have chosen their squads for a warm up against the Vodacom Stormers and Vodacom Western Province in Riebeek West on 17 January. We have 3 more warm up games in that of Boland on Wednesday the 21 and SWD Eagles on Saturday 24  January and a game against Fort Hare University on Monday 26  January.
The players would like thank the Sports Science Institute, especially Morne Du Plessis and Professor Tim Noakes for the use of the excellent facilities. Dr Sherryle Calder and her team who have started to work with the squad. To the fitness and medical staff particular Tiaan and Gerald for their tireless efforts to insure we are fighting fit. To Jake White who is teaching us defence and passing on invaluable knowledge. To our coaching staffing John, Rob and Bob for all the effort and sacrifices they have put in to ensure that our campaign is both successful and enjoyable on and off the field. Lastly I would like to thank all the players for the time commitment and sacrifice that they have put in.
J J Gagiano
He’s coached South Africa to World Cup glory at Under-21 and senior level, so when Jake White speaks you listen. And when he turns up at an Ikey Tigers training session – ahead of the Varsity Cup – you can’t help but listen to the ex-Springbok coach.
Last year’s FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International captured the imagination of the South African rugby public, but the 2009 tournament is set to trump last year’s event, given the involvement of the likes of Jake White, Bob Skinstad and Rudy Joubert as coaches.
Joubert, a former Springbok assistant coach, has taken over at Pukke – as head coach – from new Western Province employee Matthew Proudfoot, whilst White and Skinstad have been added to UCT head coach John Dobson’s already high-profile coaching staff.
Dobson and backline coach Robbie Fleck were in charge of the exciting Ikeys side from last year, but the addition of White and Skinstad as technical advisors, along with the continued presence of Professor Tim Noakes (strategist), Selborne Boome (line-out coach), Paul Day (scrum coach) and Gareth Wright (kicking coach) gives the Cape Town-based team a decidedly cosmopolitan look.
“I’m here to add value to the UCT coaching staff,” said White in a break from pre-season training at UCT. “This UCT side did well in 2008, but hopefully myself, Prof Noakes and someone like (visual coach) Sherylle Calder can add more value to this team and help them repeat their success of last year.”
As one of Dobson’s technical advisors, White’s role at UCT is a potentially wide-ranging one, but the former Springbok coach is ostensibly in charge of the Ikeys’ defence.
“I started out as a club coach,” said White, “and this game has been pretty good to me, so it’s great to be back where it all started and hopefully I can help the likes of Dobbo and Fleckie become better coaches in the process. I’ve known Fleckie for a long time and it’s been great, in particular, to see his development as a coach.
“The best thing for me, however, is that all these people involved at the club are doing it out of their own, in their own time and for no reward – it’s great to see that in this day and age.”
When pressed on his exact role at the club in 2009, White replied: “I’ll be helping out once a week, in between my commitments at Saracens, who, of course, will be out in Cape Town next week, so that will tie in nicely for me.
“I’ve been able to pick up some new things at Saracens and Toulon during my stints there,” continued White, “and hopefully I can implement some fresh ideas at UCT whenever I’m up here helping out.”
 Looking ahead to the 2009 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International, White simply pointed to the success of last year’s tournament.
“It’s an unbelievable competition,” enthused White, who won two Under-21 titles with the ‘Baby Boks’ (in 1999 and 2002), before masterminding SA’s 2007 RWC triumph in France.
“A guy like Matt Turner is a prime example of what the Varsity Cup can do for players. He would never be playing professional rugby in England were it not for the Varsity Cup.”
UCT’s 2009 Varsity Cup campaign gets underway on Monday, February 2, with a double header taking place at their Groote Schuur fields.
Shimlas take on NMMU at 2.45pm, before the Ikeys host the Maties at 4.45pm in a repeat of last year’s gut-wrenching Varsity Cup Final loss in Stellenbosch.
“It’s a tough start for us, but one we’re relishing,” said UCT head coach John Dobson, after his team’s warm-up matches against – no less! – Western Province and the Stormers in Riebeeck West on Saturday, January 17.
 “We’re missing a few guys from last year, but we’ve had a busy pre-season and the guys have been working hard. We’ve had adventure camps, rugby camps, skills sessions, mind sessions; as coaches we’ve tried to mix it up for the guys as the seasons can get long – the Varsity Cup is simply the tip of the iceberg!”

                                                                                                Howard Khan


taking on the big guns – STEPHEN BUTT
The Ikey Tigers pre-season preparations for the FNB Varsity Cup is, so to speak, in its final hour. With months of training, both in the gym and on the field having been completed the focus of both the management team and the players is increasingly on the opening match against Maties on 2 February. As part of the preparations for the FNB Varsity Cup, the UCTRFC 1stXV squad recently spent the weekend in Riebeek-West at the brilliant Rugby Performance Centre (RPC) run by the dynamic Alan Zondagh. As part of what was a hugely useful weekend the Ikey Tigers took on the Vodacom Stormers and Vodacom Western Province in two warm-up games. Playing in front of a large crowd the two UCTRFC teams put on a great showing holding both opposition teams to three tries at half time in both games. While inevitably both the Stormers and Western Province ran out easy victors there was much to be taken out of both games- indeed many positives for a young Ikeys squad against seasoned professionals. It must be said that John Dobson, Robert Fleck and the rest of the coaching team were encouraged particularly by the defensive effort of their young charges which only bodes well for what promises to be a pulsating FNB Varsity Cup. The rest of the weekend was spent hard at work perfecting the many plays that have been developed by the Ikeys star-studded coaching staff while not forgetting to enjoy a well earned beer, or in the case of tighthead consultant Tank Lanning a bottle of locally produced Sauvignon Blanc at the end of another gruelling day. With the hard work behind them the management team and players are gearing up for what should be another fascinating battle against old foes Maties. Revenge is certainly a dish best served cold! Hope to see you in Blue and White at UCT aka “The Green Mile” come 2 February.