FNB UCT Ikey Tigers were an upright away from recording their first win of the 2013 FNB Varsity Cup, but had to settle for a 21-21 draw against the FNB UFS-Shimlas in Bloemfontein on 11 March.
Seventh-place is where the Ikeys will finish in 2013 after the two points gained at Xerox Shimla Park left the men in blue and white hoops with seven points, an unbridgeable seven points adrift of yesterday's opponents but six ahead of bottom-side FNB Wits.
UCT's inability to close out a game after a strong start haunted Kevin Foote's side. Centre Tiger Bax and fullback Ross Jones-Davies teamed up for an early goal that gave UCT an 8-0 lead.
The scores were soon level, however, when Ikeys collapsed a maul. This led to referee Lusanda Jam awarding Shimlas a penalty try, which was successfully converted by fullback Nico Scheepers.
But Bax had taken a liking to the Shimlas try-line and dotted down for a second time just before half-time, with Jones-Davies again obliging with the extra three points. At this point, Shimlas were playing with 14 men after prop Cole van Heerden was sin-binned.
Neither UCT's numerical advantage nor its superior score lasted long in the second half. Flanker Jason Klaasen was shown a yellow card for diving over a maul before Van Heerden was back on the pitch and Shimlas captain Oupa Mohoje took full advantage. Breaking off from a driving maul, Mohoje scored Shimlas's second try of the day with Scheepers on target with the conversion.
If the mauls had been something of a problem area for UCT until then, they emphatically restored dignity when Bradley Bosman touched down from one in the 53rd minute, giving UCT the lead once again. This time, Jones-Davies' conversion-attempt ricocheted off the upright, leaving the score at 21-16 in the Ikeys's favour.
Seven minutes later, the fullback was kicking himself when Shimlas winger Divandre Strydom exploited an overlap down the left to level the scores. Scheepers could not convert his third pot either, and the teams were still deadlocked at 21-all when Jam blew the final whistle.
UCT next tackle Wits at the Green Mile on 18 March in the final round of the 2013 FNB Varsity Cup, with no chance of a semi-final spot.
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