UCT’s Ikey Tigers recently wrapped up their performance in the WP Super League with a 71-20 win over Victorians in Stellenbosch.
While the win saw them maintain their position as log-leaders, Maties’ bonus point 27-25 win over Hamiltons in the final round of the competition enabled them to move into first place and consequently bring home the cup. The overall log point difference was slight, UCT finishing up with 64, while Maties brought in 65 log points. However, given the Ikey’s massive performance in the tournament, they topped their Cape rivals in points scored 632 – 560.
The disparity between the two sides was UCT’s fiercely fought 18-19 loss to Stellenbosch away from home in the first half of the league. In the tie-breaker game, a last-gasp penalty try awarded to Maties was the difference between a win and a loss for the Ikeys.
Ikey’s coach Kevin Musikanth was nostalgic as he looked back on the 2014 year of rugby for his team.
“The magical year of 2014 is something that if there was way, we could all bottle and hang on our mantle piece. To pick up and relive anytime we choose,” he said.
Most significant was their 2014 Varsity Cup win, a final in which they scored 24 points in 5 minutes to come back from the dead and seize the victory from Pukke’s hands.
“When the curtain closes on 2014 the record books will show that we shocked the Varsity Cup and lifted the trophy. We were outliers, with two captains and real students,” he said.
However, he went on, “we were human. We went down to Stellenbosch in the league making us examples of the sport, that through adversity comes lesson and through lesson comes heart.”
Despite the loss, he said “when the heart that beats in the middle of a team is respected we then become friends and once we are friends and play for something that is more than a trophy we become one.”
Most importantly, this year, the Ikey Tigers showed that “if you believe and you are prepared to keep playing anything is possible.”
The momentous energy from this year will be transferred from one shape and form to another; onto their future as a team. So for one last moment, let’s remember the tigers.
By Megan Kinnaird