On Saturday the annual Intervarsity tournament between UCT and Stellenbosch will take place, with UCT’s 1st team, 2nd team, 3rd team and U20’s all taking part in the one of the oldest sporting rivalries.
This year, the tournament will be played in Stellenbosch at the Danie Craven stadium.
Kerr Rogers, UCT’s Sports Coordinator explains that the first Intervarsity clash between the two sides took place in 1911 and it continued, on-and-off until 1992, when it was disallowed, due to safety concerns and fixture congestion. Come 2012 the tournament was revamped, and started up again.
The Ikeys edged out Maties 21-13 in a tightly-contested encounter last year, and the Stellenbosch-side will be looking to claim their revenge. With the Tigers currently sitting at the top of the WP Super League table, and having recently been crowned Varsity Cup champions, the team will be looking to further extend their string of brilliant performances.
Ikey’s first team coach Kevin Musikanth explained that their preparation for the game will be done in much the same way. “The boys are very professional in their mind set with regard to matches. Obviously the occasion of the Intervarsity is massive, but at the same time we have played Stellies twice already so it’s not like the guys haven’t experience big occasions,” he said.
He explained that the bulk of the Varsity Cup squad is now available with only Dean Grant, Chad Solomons and Martin Sauls from the squad unavailable for the fixture, due to injury. With good continuity within the camp, “the boys are primed and ready, and looking forward to the Intervarsity at Danie Craven this coming weekend,” he said.
Huw Jones, Lihleli Xoli and Neil Rautenbach return from their WP commitments, and Dave Stracken, who was in the squad for their second round Varsity Cup fixture against Maties, gets his first start. Ex-Matie James Alexander starts at the scrumhalf position, with Captain Liam Slatem coming off the bench. The remainder of the team will be seen tomorrow, when the squad list is announced.
In terms of Intervarsity in general, the coach the tournament is traditionally a massive fixture for both universities.
“Of course we are well aware that history decrees that in large Maties have had the edge over Ikeys in this fixture. But recently, UCT have managed to achieve at least parity, with the success of the Varsity Cup, and our win against them in the second round, as well as the semi finals. Those results make this match even more important as Maties have an opportunity to obtain bragging rights and restore pride. So it is a massive match for all involved,” he said.
The list of matches for the Intervarsity tournament are stated below:
Saturday 10th, May
13:25 Danie Craven – A field UCT 2 vs Steinhoff Cravens
13:35 Coetzenburg – B field UCT 3 vs Steinhoff Jnr Cravens
14:45 Danie Craven – A field UCT U20 vs Steinhoff Jnr Maties
16:00 Davie Craven – A field FNB UCT vs FNB Maties