Tigers downed in Soweto battle

The FNB Ikey Tigers lost their fourth successive match on Monday night against arch rivals FNB Maties. The match ended 60-13 in favour of FNB Maties, who now sit at the top of the log after four rounds of matches played, while the FNB Ikey Tigers fell to eighth place.

“When you’re playing the team at the top of the log, you have to be on your game,” said Hanyani Shimange, head coach of the FNB Ikey Tigers. “We did attack better, but our line out was missing.”

The Ikeys pack was inaccurate in the lineout allowing Maties to put on the pressure, at half time the stats were telling: Lost 8 from 9 own throws. 

“Our scrum has improved since the beginning of the season, because we were able to get it out and play better rugby,” Shimange added.

The FNB Ikey Tigers trailed FNB Maties 28-6 at halftime, knowing that a good spell of play and two tries could put them right back in the game. “At halftime, we knew we had to start again. We knew we had to come up with solutions and start over in the second half. But like I said, when you’re playing the team at the top of the log, you have to be on top of your game,” Shimange said.

However, the second half was similar to the first one on the scoreboard. UCT tried hard to find some rhythm and twice had telling chances to score – once on the Maties tryline, but twice they lost posession and the marron full field counter attack resulted in two converted 9 point tries, in line with the new Varsity Cup points rule for long range efforts. 22 points against where the score shoudl have moved up for UCT. Luke Stringer, in the end, was able to score a consolation try for the FNB Ikey Tigers.

The match was played at the iconic FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, which has seen as an array of international sports stars glide over its pitch during the last few years. “The guys were excited to play there. Before we played, we went down to Vilakazi street and visited Mandela’s old house. It was a nice experience because the boys got to look around a bit, but our main focus was the game. Unfortunately, we failed there,” Shimange concluded.

Seven tries to one, 60:13 a telling scoreline with any scoring system application, the traditional score of course would have read 50:13. It is an extremely uncomfortable outcome against the old rivals from Stellenbosch and there has not been such a one sided result in at least 20 years. 

UCT now face fellow winless and relegation zone endangered NMMU on Monday in a crucial wooden spoon final. 

For FNB Maties:
Tries: Jenkinson 2, Saal, van der Merwe 2, van Wyk, Barry
Cons: Stapelberg 4, Smith 2
Pen: Stapelberg

For FNB Ikeys:
Try: Stringer
Con: Anderson
Pens: Bednall 2

FNB Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Paul Streicher, 12 Braam Venter, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Kobus van Wyk, 7 Janco Venter, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Craig Corbett, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Johan Momsen, 19 Saud Abrahams, 20 Geor Malan, 21 Christopher Smith, 22 Jason Worral, 23 JE van der Merwe.

FNB Ikey Tigers: 15 Joel Smith, 14 Nathan Nel, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Rico Lategan, 11 Suwilanji Chibale, 10 Thomas Bednall, 9 Janse van Rensburg, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Luke Stringer, 6 Jason Klaassen, 5 Gary Porter, 4 Jade Kriel, 3 David Maasch, 2 Brenton Greaves, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Sean Paterson, 17 Msizi Zondi, 18 Mark Prior, 19 Duncan Saffy, 20 Steven Wallace, 21 Rob Anderson, 22 Kofi Appiah, 23 Samuel Theron.

The FNB Ikey Tigers will play FNB NMMU on Monday, the 21st of March at 12:45 also at Soccer City Soweto. 

By Wessley Thring.