uctrfc.co.za looks at the parallels and lessons from last years semi finals. Isn’t it ironic how this year’s fixtures exactly mirror last years? It almost feels like this review might be a preview in its own right. Last season of course UCT were in the top of the log driving seat, with Maties trailing close second, followed by Tuks and Pukke.
The boot that made the difference – Matt Rosslee in last year’s semi final.
This year the standings are slightly different, but the effective outcome is the same – the log is: Maties, UCT, Pukke, Tuks.
Maties host Tuks at Coetzenberg and UCT host Pukke at the Green Mile. Incidentally both games are also re-matches of the final round robin games that were played last Monday – Pukke beat UCT in Potch 17:13 and Maties were handed their first defeat in 2009 by Tuks in Stellenbosch, going down 25:23.
Who could forget last year’s semi final at UCT? What a game! It would have been some of the most dramatic 80 minutes of the Varsity Cup until then and a definite reminder that this is and was Rugby that Rocks. It was a déjà vu style copy of the first UCT-Pukke match on the same field, the opening match of the inaugural VC season, when Pukke was also way ahead at half time and UCT came back in style.
On the day of the semi, the Green Mile was jam packed with 7000 spectators who witnessed UCT fight back from 10:23 in favour of the visitors from Potchefstroom at half time. Shortly after the score was 17:31 but UCT clinched it in extra time, with that famous Matt Rosslee penalty that made it 32:31, booked the place in the final and had the Blue and White supporters go mental.
Maties’ semi final was also a nailbiter. As was to be expected after their 31:31 draw in their first match of 2008, Maties had an equally tight match vs Tukkies (University of Pretoria), this time around it even went into extra time after Tuks had fought back to a 44:44 draw at full time! But the Ikeys’ arch rivals made sure it would be an all Cape final on that Monday the 7th of April 2008, when they clinched the win with a penalty in the dying minutes – Maties 47:44 Tukkies.
So, we know what we are in for. Semi finals have their own rules, the road that brought the teams there is forgotten, nul and void and anything is possible.
Watch the video below: The beginning of the 2009 journey and some of the rugby that made 2008 unforgettable - the last minute will remind you of this fantastic varsity moment and the 2008 semi final ectasy of victory.
See you on the Green Mile on Monday at 16.45!