Graham Knoop returns from injury as UCT prepare to take on The Bay
The FNB UCT rugby teams are returning from the long varsity vac and have been hard at work ahead of Saturday's fixture against The Bay at Philip Herbstein Sports Field in Constantia.
False Bay have had an unlucky season to date (going down 10:18 to UCT earlier in the season) and will look to bounce back against the Ikeys, but Kevin Foote is able to field a stong side for the short trip to the Southern Suburbs.
A few players return from injury, including Graham Knoop, who will parter Levi Odendaal in the second row, with WP lock Hilton Lobberts a late inclusion in the squad. Experienced 8th man JJ Gagiano heads up a powerful backrow that provides plenty of leadership up front, with former Ikeys U20 skipper Josh Katzen and Ikeys Varsity Cup skipper Ntsolo Setlaba on the flanks.
Flyhalf Ross Jones-Davies who has been one of the most improved players in the club in his first senior season will again look to pull the strings for a powerful backline that pairs the direct approach of Andre Coetzer with the poise of Tiger Bax in the centers and has plenty of pace out wide with Mark Winter, Paul Cohen on the wings and Andrew Norton at fullback.
The Eagles team is also in good shape with Dayne Jans back from injury leading from the front at hooker and Sharief Hendricks forming an experienced half back combination with Mathew Russel. The Ish Dramat XV will again look to take points away from their Bay Counterparts.
Both the Marais (4th) and Moss XV (5th) are playing on Friday night.
The 1st team match will kick off at 3.30 to allow the teams and spectators to watch the much anticipated Super Rugby semi final, which kicks off at 5pm. For said Stormers Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi are the young Ikeys in the starting XV, while Don Armand will be on the bench to provide cover.
The John Dobson coached WP U21 side which plays the Bulls this weekend is also featuring several Ikeys with Damian de Allende, Dillyn Leyds, Rick Schroeder, Rayn Smid, Francois van Wyk starting and James Kilroe on the bench.
UCT Ikey Tigers vs False Bay 1
15. Andrew Norton 14. Paul Cohen 13. Liam Bax 12. Andre Coetzer 11. Mark Winter 10. Ross Jones-Davies 9. Stephen Wallace 8. JJ Gagiano 7. Josh Katzen 6. Ntsolo Setlaba 5. Levi Odendaal 4. Graham Knoop 3. Christopher Heiberg 2. Timothy Louw 1. Wesley Chetty
Replacements: 16. Gareth Topkin 17. Digby Webb 18. Hilton Lobberts / Stephen Buerger 19. West Mackintosh 20. Dylan Frylink 21. Adrian Kritzenger 22. Dylan Sage.
UCT Eagles – 2nd Team:
15. Jethro Valentine 14. Zingisa Ndiki 13. Nicholas Loizedes 12. Darryn Berry 11. David de Kooker 10. Mathew Russell 9. Sharief Hendricks 8. Michael Botha 7. Alistair Mullholland 6. Christopher Roberts 5. Theo Van Aspern 4. Wolfgang Rohr 3. Shane Meier 2. Dayne Jans 1. Devon Cunningham
Replacements: 16. Scott Pitcher 17. Ellis Lardner 18. Dale Manning 19. Nicholas Rosslee 20. Guy Muller 21. Scott Rattray 22. Trent Jenkinson 23. Wesley Hamilton
Ish Dramat XV – 3rd Team:
15. Grant De Jager 14. Brent Sanders 13. Wesley Hamilton 12. Josh Rowe 11. Sawa Time 10. Trent Jenkinson 9. Clive Leibrandt 8. Nicholas Rosslee 7. Christiaan Bester 6. Guy Muller 5. Dale Manning 4. Blaine Moolman 3. Ellis Lardner 2. Scott Pitcher 1. Mini Bhengu
Replacements: 17. Stephan Hartzenburg 18. Marco Pimentel 19. Jayne Marinus 20. Darren Brookbank 21. Gavin Ross 22. Xolisa Velem