Season’s Round Up 2008

2008 Club Captain Chad Barker rounds up the 2008 season:
The long UCT Rugby season has drawn to a close. A season which started in January for the 1st XV and February for all other players and ended in late September, in dramatic style at the recent Intervarsity.

Varsity Cup and preseason
To recap the 2008 year started with much anticipation from potential 1st team players and the supporters of the UCT RFC. This anticipation was caused by the reappointment of John Dobson as first XV coach and the opening year of the exciting Varsity Cup tournament. UCT thrilled all who supported them during this tournament and caused agony for all else. This led to the honour of the most exciting team in the tournament title being bestowed on them, as well as a first place log finish and a last second final defeat to arch rivals Maties.

During the Varsity Cup, the rest of the club started the season as per normal, with the preseason fixtures including the traditional fixtures against Ceres and the Mark Jordaan Memorial against False Bay. Both days of rugby proved to be very successful with the UCT teams playing being donned as A,B and C. Some of the U20’s first encounters on the field were at the Goodwood Rugby Day. Unfortunately for the A1’s, their unbeaten run from last year ended at this festival against Van der Stel.

First half
The Super League A season started for the 1st XV against Dur-Bell with a poor performance in which they lost. The fairy tale of the Varsity Cup appeared to be over. There were a large number of injured players and the 1st XV, suffered another loss to
Hamilton at home before they could get four points against Victorians. This win gave the XV a resurgence of confidence and they rebounded to a reasonable five wins from ten matches half way through the season. Lower in the club, the MC Marias’ (5ths) were once again leading their respective table.

Midyear break
During the June/July holidays the club sent a representative side to
Durban to play in the Annual USSA tournament. UCT had sent a predominantly U20 team (the Gunners – fittingly named after their coach). It soon appeared to the team that the tournament organisers did not get this information as they were put up against three quality 1st teams. The Gunners thus lost all three of their matches. Despite the poor results the team still had a phenomenal time. The first XV also caught up a match against Helderberg that they had missed because of the Varsity Cup. The Ikeys were more successful and easily won.

Second Half
After the vacation, UCT played against SK Walmers. This time the 1st XV and a large portion of the club were unsuccessful. The SK Walmers managed to make it home and away victories in a tight and very intense affair. Other highlights of the season were the rain soaked match against Villagers, the MC
Marais and Moss semi final (what was lacking in rugby quality was made up by intensity), the Junior Tiger XV VS Babrouw XV (B1’s VS B2’s) and the final match of the season against Maties for the Intervarsity Trophy. The Ikeys finished the year in fourth position, which may have been better if they had not played in Varsity Cup because of the injury woes that were attributed to the tournament. On analysis of the entire Club’s results, it appears that the club as is currently a club, that will always offer a competitive match at all levels. UCT and the first team are established as on of the Cape’s “Super” Clubs, alongside Maties, Hamiltons and SK Walmers. The Ikey Tigers lost four out of these six clashes with 7 points or less and two of them by one and two points respectively – a bit more luck and the log could have looked quite different.

In Memoriam
On a sadder note the club suffered three major losses this year in the form of Ishmail Dramat, David Martin and Monte Taljaard. Ishmail and David passed after struggling with cancer and Monte was tragically killed in a car accident. The 3rd XV was named after Ish Dramat and an annual bursary is currently being established in memory of Monte.

The annual Black Tie Dinner was held as a fundraiser, as was a successful Golf day and the UK Dinner is still to be held in the near future. Many thanks must go to all the members of the 200 Club, because without their contributions the club would not be able to operate at its current service level. The format of the Annual Players Dinner was changed to an informal meal at the Club after Monte’s devastating accident.

To finish off the season, the club would like to extend their sincerest gratitude to all the members of the Exco, all the club’s employees, team coaching and managerial staff and the players for all the time that you have given to the club, for it is you who make the UCT Rugby Football Club all that it is.