The Ikey Tigers travel to the luckless and winless Helderberg on Saturday in another must-win fixture if they are to keep their league challenge dreams alive.
Complacency is the only threat for the high flying Ikeys, when they take on the winless and Super League B bound team from the Strand tomorrow.
“It’s basically a knockout phase for us now,” admitted Ikeys coach Kevin Foote. Challenging for the league is a historic achievement for the Ikeys who have not won the Super League – or Grand Challenge as it used to be known – since 1974.
“It’s not an easy run-in, starting this weekend against a tough Helderberg team away, but at least we know what we have to do in these last four weeks and we have our own destiny firmly in our own hands.
“We need to play some good rugby and the guys know what is expected of them.
“The nice thing,” he added, “is that we faced similar pressure during the Varsity Cup (earlier this year)… There was that ‘quarterfinal’ match against Tuks, which we won away, and then, of course the semifinals and final – which we also won away. It’s daunting, but we’re all looking forward to the challenge (again)!”
Helderberg are the only winless team in the WP Super League, but that has not entered Foote’s thoughts ahead of the weekend, adding: “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing – we won’t take anything for granted.”
Team-wise, Foote has made a few changes to the team that beat False Bay 27-17 last Saturday.
Therlow Pietersen and André Coetzer have been reunited at centre, with youngster David Ambunya dropping back down to the bench with veteran Coetzer’s return.
Up front, youngsters Brad Bosman and Kyle Kriel will start at lock – with Pallo Manuel now in Boland colours and James Kilroe injured – and Neil Rautenbach takes over from Dayne Jans at hooker.
The FNB UCT team: 15 Ricky Rijs, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Therlow Pietersen, 12 André Coetzer, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Nick Farrar, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Zandy Macdonald, 6 Don Armand (captain), 5 Brad Bosman, 4 Kyle Kriel, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Tim Louw, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Theunis Botha, 19 Ntsolo Setlaba, 20 Steve Wallace, 21 Jannie Bester, 22 David Ambunya.
The WP Super League log:
(Played, won, points)
1. FNB Maties 18, 14, 69
2. Hamilton’s 16, 11, 56
3. FNB UCT 14, 11, 51
4. Durbanville-Belville 16, 9, 49
5. SK-Walmers 15, 9, 44
6. Victorians 15, 6, 37
7. False Bay 14, 7, 34
8. Villager’s 14, 5, 22
9. Belhar 15, 3, 17
10. Helderberg 15, 0, 5
with thanks to varsitycup.co.za