The MC Marais XV – UCT’s legendary fifth team – have picked up some more silverware, with the passionate ‘closed’ team claiming the fifth division league title with a superb victory over NNK last weekend.
Under the captaincy of Rhyd Smith, the MC Marais XV finished the regular 2009 league season in first place, before going on to defeat Villager’s in the semifinals and then NNK (by 26-15) in the final.
“We had a big braai and plenty of celebrations afterwards,” skipper Smith told uctrfc.co.za. “It’s been a tough season, playing 13 league matches and then the play-offs, but we were pretty happy with things after Saturday.”
Whilst celebrations no doubt went on well into the night, Smith lauded the fine team spirit in the MC Marais XV throughout the season.
He said: “Most of the guys have been playing together for five or six years, so we’re a happy side. There’s a good vibe in the squad and it’s all about having fun – on and off the field.”
Of course, it does help to win, too… “Nobody likes to lose,” admitted Smith.
“[But] if I am not mistaken this was our fifth title in the last six years, which is not a bad effort. We’ve got some pretty good players in the mix, guys who aren’t keen to play seriously anymore, but just want to have some fun every week.”
Smith named Chris Warncke, John Fuller and Denton Blomquist as three of his more consistent performers, but he also paid tribute to the newer, younger guys in the MC Marais XV.
“I could actually name a whole lot of guys,” he said, “it would be unfair to single people out.”
With the 2009 season behind them, the MC Marais regulars will continue to play touch twice a week (they normally play touch on a Tuesday and “do some shadow stuff” on Thursdays – according to Smith) to stay in shape ahead of 2010.
“I guess we’re a bit like the Barbarians,” said Smith with a laugh, “we don’t even have an official coach, but I guess it’s because we’re old pros!
“We always try to watch the first team, or the other teams for that matter, when we all play at home, so hopefully we can do the same now even though our league is finished.”