The rugby bosses at UCT should be chuffed with how the FNB UCT first team has done in its three warm-up games to the 2006 season.
Under new coach Dave Mallett, the side has stuck to its running game, in March confidently seeing off False Bay 49-12 (eight tries) in the Mark Jordaan Memorial match, and then the slippery Tygerberg 41-8 (six tries) in the annual Tiger Challenge game.
The only defeat came in a bruising away encounter against Wellington, who threw everything plus the kitchen sink at UCT.
"They were very, very physical," reports Mallett.
The students lost 10-19, and five players had to limp off the field with injuries, three seriously so. Little wonder the coach is thinking of calling off this traditional "friendly".
But other than that, Mallett is very taken with his young team, especially the many newbies that took on Tygerberg. "It was hugely satisfying to see the young players put up their hands," he says.
With news, for example, that newly promoted Hamiltons trumped the fancied Villagers in another local friendly, the youthful enthusiasm at UCT bodes well for a premier league season that is shaping up to be a daunting one.
April 1 - UCT v Collegians, at UCT at 16h00.
April 22 - UCT v Tygerberg, Florida Park in Ravensmead at 16h00.
May 6 - UCT v Helderberg, at UCT at 16h00.
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