After two lean years, the FNB UCT Ikeys are back in the big time.
Kevin Musikanth's team strolled to a 25-5 win over FNB Wits in Johannesburg on 17 March to secure a home semi-final against arch-rivals FNB Maties. The bonus-point win means UCT finished second on the log, three points behind NWU-Puk, and securing home advantage for the knockout-stage of the competition.
James Alexander, scrumhalf and captain-for-the-day, and wing Lihleli Xoli touched down to give the boys from Cape Town a 10-0 lead at half-time, and though flyhalf Dean Grant missed his difficult conversion attempts, the lead never looked in real danger.
Three tries followed in the second-half for UCT, courtesy of fullback Martin Sauls, lock Shaun McDonald and replacement back Nathan Nel. These took the game away from Wits, whose sole try '“ scored by prop Hannes Ludik '“ was a consolation effort.
UCT's second-place finish is all the more impressive considering the Ikeys lost their first game of the competition. A second-round victory against Maties perhaps served as the catalyst for an impressive revival.
It will be the first time that the Ikeys and Maties meet in an FNB Varsity Cup semi-final, having met in two previous finals (2008 and 2010), both of which Maties won. The last time Ikeys made a semi-final, in 2011 under Kevin Foote, they went on to win the competition.
The televised semi will kick off at 16h30 on 24 March at the Green Mile.
Story by Yusuf Omar. Image by SASPA.
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