In a game that proved UCT certainly has no shortage of young eager talent or depth, the UCT First XV produced a good performance against a very strong SK Walmers side but was unfortunate to narrowly be defeated 20-19 on home soil. The students from UCT surprised many as they kept the star studded SK Walmers away from their try line for the majority of the game and cut through the SK team on numerous occasions but were unable to finish.
In fact, going into half time, SK Walmers leading only 6-3, the rather large crowd that had gathered on the Green Mile to watch what some thought to be a weak UCT team realized they were mistaken and that they were in for a great second half.
The gutsy students defended with a ferocity some feel often lacks from the University team during the Super A League, however this UCT First XV were evidently adamant that they were not going to be physically beaten as they attacked every ruck, every maul and every set piece with great intensity.
With the majority of the UCT points scored through the well educated boot of fullback, Paul Cohen, the UCT side kept within range of the SK Walmers team who managed to breach the otherwise tight defensive lines of their opposition twice leaving UCT down 20-12 with about 5 minutes left to play.
The students showed both their maturity and guts as they broke through for a final score by replacement Ross Jones-Davies who jinxed and pushed his way over the SK line, taking them to 20-19 and unfortunately the final whistle.
There were certainly some great individual performances from the likes of Chop Whitehead who was more than immense in the loose and on defense, Kyle Kriel who was physical for the full 80 minutes and some very slick skills from the exciting young flyhalf, Nick Holten.
Although UCT went down to SK, they will certainly take away positives from this game and come back next week stronger and more experienced. It seems the UCT Ikeys have more to offer outside of their Varsity Cup setup, which bodes well for the club but more importantly for running rugby in the Western Cape. Spectators are sure to return this coming weekend to watch this young gutsy side face off against Helderberg for what I’m sure will be another great display of UCT rugby.
Penalties: Paul Cohen (4)
Conversions: Paul Cohen (1)
Tries: Ross Jones-Davies (1)