Stellenbosch University beat Cape Town University 12-10 at UCT’s Groote Schuur ground on Monday evening. It was a match which the Ikeys could have won, though.
Sapa reports that they scored the only try of the match and were actually over the line on two other occasions. Then with four seconds to play they had a kick at goal – a difficult one, 30 metres out and 15 metres and into the wind. The kick was well wide. In fact they missed five kicks at goal and preferred to run the easiest of them in search of a try.
Stellenbosch had four kicks at goal and kicked all four over for their winning points. They had only one chance when they looked like scoring a try but had to settle for a penalty.
In addition UCT were severely penalised – 15 times in all to the ten of the Maties and three of the ten came in the last few minutes, one a red card for Dabeon Draghoender for a dangerous tackle of the spear variety. In all Ikeys were penalised 12 times at the tackle with a 13th at a maul which had a strange look about it. JJ Gagiano was sent for the sin bin for playing the ball at a tackle with one knee on the ground.
It was a match which the Ikeys certainly had every chance to win – not an expansive game but a grimly fought one where every collision area was a war zone, and Stellenbosch probably did better there, winning several turnovers but they did precious little with the ball in hand.
The Ikeys played with the wind in the first half and they ended the second half much the stronger side coming desperately close to scoring tries on two occasions as they dominated the last 20 minutes.
Ikeys had a kick at goal in the first minute – a long kick which dipped just under the bar but on 9 minutes when Lourens Adriaanse was penalised at a scrum Matthew Rosslee goaled to make the score 3-0.
The war of attrition raged on till suddenly Stuart Commins broke it open. A line-out produced a tackle in midfield and suddenly the blond scrum scuttled past two Maties and raced over the 22 to score at the posts – a brilliant try. There were other moments of brilliance – from Tiger Bax and Marvin Christians – but none as effective as this. Rosslee converted. 10-0 after 21 minutes.
When the Maties’ handling let them down Peter Engelbrecht footed over the half-way line and down towards the Maties’ goal-line where Wilhelm Looch did well to get to the ball and conceded a five-metre scrum.
From the scrum the Ikeys battered but ineluctably they were penalised at the tackle.
Maties, especially scrumhalf Donald Stevens, lobbed kicks into Ikey territory and one nearly bore a try as Hayden Groepes foot towards the goal-line. In came lock Don Armand, diving at the ball and being penalised for knocking Gropes over. 10-3.
During the last part of the half, the Ikeys eschewed an easy kick at goal, Christians launched a great counterattack and Commins went off in great pain, his wrist broken.
When Gagiano was penalised for collapsing the maul “around the feet” Stevens made it 10-6. When Ikeys were penalised at tackle and marched on 10 metres, Stevens made it 10-9. When Gagiano was penalised at a tackle and yellow-carded Stevens made it 12-10.
Up till then the Ikeys were getting little of the ball but from then on they spread it wide, got more possession and had the Maties scampering in defence. They attacked on the left and Christians went for the line. The referee decided that a try had not been scored. He had the best television match official in the land but did not use him though a replay suggested that the ball may well have been grounded in the Matie in-goal.
From the ensuing five-metre scrum, the Ikeys attacked again and this time Van Tonder was over. Again the referee ignored the TMO and awarded a five-metre scrum.
The Ikeys again seemed on the way to scoring a try with an overlap on the right. Armand chose to cut through and was on the way to the line when a great tackle brought him down.
The last bit was agonising for both sides as Rosslee had that difficult kick at goal but was not close.
Pens: Stevens 4
UCT: 15 Tiger Bax, 14 Dane Johnson, 13 Peter Engelbrecht, 12 Sean van Tonder, 11 Marvin Christians, 10 Matt Rosslee, 9 Stu Commins, 8 JJ Gagiano (captain), 7 Enoch Panya, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Don Armand, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Dylan Rogers.
Replacements: 16 Mark Goosen, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 Dane Galley, 19 Kuselo Moyake, 20 Michael Morris, 21 Kyle Wickens, 22 Therlow Pietersen.
Stellenbosch: 15 Hayden Groepes, 14 Wilhelm Looch, 13 Dabeon Draghoender, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Llewellyn Winkler, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Donald Stevens, 8 Morné Hanekom, 7 Wesley Wilkens (captain), 6 Conraad Britz, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Marinus Pretorius, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 JP Köster, 1 Johan Roets.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Andrew Crusauz, 18 Erich Loubscher, 19 JP Mostert, 20 Kosie Eksteen, 21 Jean Stemmet, 22 Adnaan Osman