This weekend the Ikey Tigers took on Tygerberg in their first game of the Western Province Super League A, coming out tops with a score of 49-21.
Fresh off their Varsity Cup win, the team were on form, with a host of new players performing well.
The Tigers had a strong start to the game, and took commanding lead of the game. While the half time scoreline reflects a sizeable gap between the two side, coach Kevin Musikanth explains that it was still anyone’s game at the break, 28-11 separating the two teams. “But the leadership of Michael Botha, in Liam Slatem’s absence allowed for the guys to have an impressive 10 minutes where the Ikeys scored 21 points,” said the coach. A late Tygerberg try allowed the scoreline to end off at 49-21, a healthy gap maintained by the Varsity Cup champions.
Musikanth stated that it was important for them to start the league in a positive fashion. “The problem with a successful Varsity Cup campaign is sometimes it is difficult to lift the guys after a long preparation and long Varsity Cup,” he said.
However, he went on “fortunately, this group of players is very ready for the challenge of the SLA and are competitive, and although the bulk of them had some time off and only reconvened shortly before the match we prepared well and made sure that we were ready for the match against the plucky Tygerberg.”
There were a number of changes made to the team following the Varsity Cup final. Both the Alexander brothers were away, Liam Slatem is resting, and flyhalf Dean Grant is undergoing a shoulder op. The team, therefore, included 9 players who had not been a part of the Varsity Cup campaign. However, the coach said “the boys that came into the squad played really well and managed to be able to put it together and defend well enough to keep Tygerberg out, and attack sublimely for that superb final 10 minutes of the game.”
It was a particularly memorable match for James Kilroe and Digby Webb who both played their 50th game for UCT. Kilroe was rewarded with two tries, and Webb performed brilliantly as well.
Speaking about the WP Super League, Musikanth finished up saying “it’s a prestigious tournament and is something that is now played in the Super 15 format so there is a lot excitement within the group for UCT to succeed in this competition following their fairytale Varsity Cup.
Ikey Tigers vs Tygerberg
15 Tom Bednall 14 Paul Cohen 13 Martin Sauls 12 Guy Schwikard 11 Nathan Nel 10 Ross Jones Davies 9 Dylan Frylink 8 Mike Botha (c) 7 Chris Roberts 6 Jason Klaasens 5 James Kilroe 4 Sean Macdonald 3 Digby Webb 2 Neil Rautenbach 1 Sti Sithole
16 Jade Kriel 17 David Maaschie 18 Gareth Ehret 19 Brad Bosman 20 Ryan Dugmore 21 Trent Jenkinson 22 an other