UCT make statement of intent

UCT signalled their ambition as Varsity Cup title challengers with a massive 76-5 victory over a much-changed CUT Ixias side at Tuks Stadium on Monday evening.

Making a statement: The win has pushed UCT six points clear at the top of the Varsity Cup table, with UP-Tuks still to play on Monday and Maties playing on Tuesday. It was nevertheless another impressive win for this UCT side, who may just be considered proper title challengers as the competition hits the halfway mark with four rounds still to play.

Tries galore: Athi Gazi has had a fine tournament for the Ikey Tigers so far and was at his best against CUT. The fullback was on hand to finish off a point-of-origin try in the eighth minute and scored two tries in the second half to seal his hat-trick. There were in total 13 tries scored in this match, 12 of those by UCT. Wing Rethabile Louw bagged a brace, while centre Le Roux Malan scored one try and assisted another.

Disciplinary concern: Despite the result all but decided by half time, UCT will still be concerned by their discipline in the second half. Substitute back Rihaz Fredericks was red-carded for a head-high dangerous tackle, while Louw was also yellow-carded for a high tackle. It is something that UCT will have to keep an eye on as the tournament goes on.

Attacking through defence: While plenty of focus will go towards the quality of UCT’s attack and their try-scorers, plaudits also have to be given to the way UCT defended. This was particularly in the opening stages of the match, where CUT enjoyed plenty of possession, but struggled to get any sort of go-forward or territory. UCT defence coach Craig Childs has this team properly drilled, which will be vital in the latter stages of the tournament.

UCT Ikeys – 15 Athi Gazi, 14 Rethabile Louw, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Le Roux Malan, 11 Liam Kloosman, 10 James Tedder, 9 William Rose, 8 Taariq Kruger, 7 Neil Otto, 6 Liam Greenhalgh (c),  5 Connor Evans, 4 Gary Porter, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Devon Arendse, 1 Luthando Woji.
Subs: 16 Josh van Vuuren, 17 Seth Christian, 18 Jovan Bekker, 19 Byron Bowes, 20 Keagan Blanckenberg, 21 Kyle Bowman, 22 Michael Brink, 23 Rihaz Fredericks.

CUT Ixias – 15 Emilio Adonis, 14 Tsepo Malumane, 13 Jandré de Beer, 12 Karabo Maqeba, 11 Juandré Sabbat, 10 Niell Stannard, 9 Xander Botha, 8 Ulrich Stander, 7 Bennett Nortjé, 6 Francois Bester, 5 Brendon Fortuin, 4 Matthew Sekele, 3 Wandré Nortjé, 2 Janus Venter (c), 1 Raynard Esterhuizen.
Subs: 16 Johannes Terblanche, 17 Tebogo Masemola, 18 Thabiso Msiza, 19 Derik Pretorius, 20 Hardus Nel, 21 Jaco Wilkinson, 22 Charles Williams, 23 Cohen Jasper.

Photo: Christiaan Kotze/ Varsity Sports

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Dylan Jack