|Hot on the heels: UCT's Marcello Sampson makes a beeline for the Shimlas tryline, but flyhalf Jaco Colyn has other ideas.|
In the end, the UCT Ikey Tigers got off lightly.
Despite the lion's share of possession in the first half and healthy leads halfway through the second, the side scraped through with a 23-20 win over Free State University's Shimlas in their FNB Varsity Cup clash at UCT on Monday, 9 March. But UCT was spared a few blushes by Shimlas, who missed a couple of easy kicks that would have swung the scoreline in their favour.
Handsomely ahead by 18-7 and the clock ticking, a Shimlas penalty and a try brought the Free State students, at 18-15, to within a whisker of UCT. Fullback Therlow Pietersen then touched down for UCT - after a telling break from nimble-footed winger Marcello Simpson - to put some daylight between them and the visitors again at 23-15. But yet another Shimlas try at the death reduced the deficit to just three at 23-20. Luckily for UCT, the ref called it a day as yet another Shimlas kick flew past the posts.
UCT head coach John Dobson was not amused. "I feel particularly bad for our fans that, for the majority of the second half and even when we had all the ball and play in the first half, we served up that rubbish," he said in a no-mincing-of-words interview with varsitycup.co.za.
Despite the lapses, UCT, now in second place on the log, still well on course for a home semi-final. To secure that berth, however, they will have to best North West University's Pukke in their final round-robin clash in Potchefstroom on 16 March.
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