The Ikey Tigers’ exhilarating 40-21 victory over NWU-Pukke on Monday was a game likened – in intensity and excitement – to that of the 2014 Varsity Cup final.
What was revealed was an Ikeys side dominant defensively, and capable of producing polished attacking formations throughout.
Coach Kevin Musikanth expressed his team’s excitement following the game: “We are thrilled with the result. Getting 5 points in a pool match away from home is precious and the fact that it was against such a strong side like Pukke meant we really had to be firing on all cylinders,” he said.
And firing all cylinders they were – being the first to score, within the first three minutes, and scoring five tries throughout the duration of the match to bring in a bonus point win. Given the tense history between the two sides, the game was always going to tough for the boys in blue. However, as the coach stated, “the team responded so well to the difficult challenge out there.”
Referring to the areas of the game that UCT dominated, Musikanth went on, “The boys defended like demons. It is something that we have worked really hard on and Mike van Rheede, who marshals defence, deserves huge credit here.”
There were several instances throughout the game which saw Pukke camping on the Ikey tryline, only to be deterred by some outstanding defence.
“The heart shown by the boys was incredible,” said the coach, “It made us all extremely proud.”
While he was disinclined to single out any players in such a powerful team performance, Musikanth finished up by saying: “Warren Seals and James Alexander marshalled the game outstandingly well, the tight five continued where they left off against CUT, and Mark prior and Lihleli Xoli put in some really big tackles which helped the team’s cause late in the game.”
Next up, UCT travel to Bloemfontein, coming up against arguably the most competitive side in this year’s competition so far – Shimla’s.