The University of Johannesburg (UJ) overturned a 7-10 half-time deficit to run out shock 34-22 winners over the Ikey Tigers at Groote Schuur’s Green Mile, on Monday evening.
Ikey fullback Therlow Pietersen romped in for the first try of the match to crown his side’s spirited start and flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis added the conversion and a penalty soon afterwards for a deserving 10-0 lead – crucially, with the wind at UCT’s backs.
The setback did little to deter UJ who towards the first of the first half managed to relieve the pressure and their efforts were rewarded with a try by captain and flanker – and the eventual Man of the Match – Justin Wheeler.
Fullback Theuns Kotze converted and the teams changed ends at 10-7.
UJ returned from the break full of running but their early second-half sorties came to nought as the Ikeys’ defence stood firm.
However, as the Ikeys created pressure by taking play deep in their opponents’ half their lapses at the breakdown play cost them dearly.
Their inability to protect their ball saw the UJ speedsters stage several break-outs in quick succession with telling effect. A five pointer by Aubrey McDonald and two long range tries by Jacques Pretorius, Wigan Pekeur, all of which were converted by Kotze took the game away from the Ikeys.
Ikey Foundation events – preview:
Join us in watching Ikey Tigers vs Tuks on the Big Screen
On Monday 21st, 17.00 at Barristers in Newlands.
Ikey Tigers vs Tuks on the Big Screen
On Monday 21st, 17.00 at Giles in Craighall Park.
Preview: Q&A with Wallaby and Reds Captain James Horwill and fellow Queensland Reds stars
In the final quarter the Ikeys pressed hard but in the end they ran out of time, after tries by backs Mark Winter and Paul Cohen, with Catrakilis succeeding with one conversion.
With the clock running down, André Smith hammered the final nail in the Ikeys’ coffin with a drop-goal to put the final result beyond doubt.
The top part of the Varsity Cup log is the tightest it has ever been with log leading UJ a 22 points, Maties at 21, Tukkies at 21, UCT at 19 and Shimlas at 19 – all within 3 points of one another. This makes Monday’s clashes between Tuks and Ikeys in Pretoria and Maties and UJ in Stellenbosch early finals, as at least on of the losers will likely drop out of semi final contention – given that 5th placed Shimlas are likely to take points at bottom of the log NMMU Madibaz.
Even the impressive and log leading UJ can thus drop out of contention altogether should they lose to Maties – the same applies to our Ikey Tigers of course who face the mammoth task of wrangling points from Tuks who beat last year’s champions.
For full logs visit http://www.varsitycup.co.za
For FNB UCT:
Tries: Pietersen, Winter, Cohen
Cons: Catrakilis 2
For FNB UJ:
Tries: Wheeler, McDonald, Pretorius, Pekeur
Cons: Kotze 4
UCT: 15 Therlow Pietersen, 14 Pete Haw, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Oliver Braithwaite, 11 Paul Cohen, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nicholas Farrar, 8 Nick Fenton-Wells (captain), 7 Alexander Macdonald, 6 Donovan Armand, 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 Pallo Manuel, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Francois van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Matt Page, 17 Wesley Chetty, 18 Harrison Edwards, 19 Michael Morris, 20 Scott Watermeyer, 21 Mark Winter, 22 Sabelo Siyakatshana, 23 Pete Olivier.
UJ: 15 Theuns Kotze, 14 Aubrey McDonald, 13 Justin St. Jerry, 12 Luan Steenkamp, 11 Lolo Waka, 10 André Smith, 9 Rudi Page, 8 Cameron Peverett, 7 Justin Wheeler (captain), 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Marnus van Huyssteen, 4 Yssel Swanepoel, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Alfred Ries, 17 Ollie Terblanche, 18 Shane Kirkwood, 19 Johan van Deventer, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Divan van Zyl, 22 Wigan Pekeur, 23 Anthony Gallacher.
Referee: François Groenewald
By Herman Gibbs (Sapa)