CUT’s tough Varsity Cup 2018 season
2018 was yet another tough campaign for the FNB CUT Ixias this year, suffering some heavy defeats in their difficult season, with one narrow win against FNB NMU Madibas in Bloemfontein in their first home match of the season.
The competition started off with two difficult away matches for the Ixias, losing 70 – 7 to Pukke in Potch, and going down to UJ by 48 – 21 in Johannesburg.
In their first home game of the Varsity Cup season, the Ixias found themselves in an extremely tough matchup against the visiting Madibas from Port Elizabeth, scraping home by 38 – 37 on the CUT Stadium. This win gave the “Boyz in Blue” heaps of confidence for the rest of their campaign.
Unfortunately, the log leaders, FNB Maties, were waiting in Stellenbosch, and thumped our Ixias by 75 – 12.
Although our next three games were played at home in Bloemfontein, Wits and Tuks stacked up the points on the scoreboard, beating the Ixias by 52 – 18 and 54 – 26 respectively.
CUT fancied their chances against UCT Ikeys in our last home match of the season, as they were also struggling this season, while CUT scored our first ever Varsity Cup victory against them in Bloemfontein two years ago. However, The Ikey Tigers managed to hold on the scrape home by 30 – 23 against the Ixias.
In our last match, The Ixias travelled to Shimla Park for the first local derby against our neighbours, FNB Kovsies. Kovsies managed to get the upper hand during the second half, trouncing the Ixias by 69 – 33.
According to the CUT Head coach, ex-springbok Tiaan Liebenberg, the Ixias biggest drawback this year was that we could not string together a full 80 minutes of competitive rugby. Somehow the team lost focus and control for periods where they allowed the opposition to score several tries within a short period of time, leaving the Ixias with a score board deficit which we simply could not wipe out.
On the positive side, the players have gelled into a good unit as a team. There are many positive aspects we can take into the City League later this month.
FNB CUT Ixias ended the Varsity Cup campaign in eighth position out of nine teams, recording 8 league points, 7 points behind FNB Tuks and 4 points clear of Madibas.
This meant FNB CUT have to play the runners-up in Varsity Shield competition, FNB Walter Sisulu University, in a crucial promotion/relegation match in Stellenbosch next Monday, 16 April. The winner of this match will play Varsity Cup in 2019 while the losing side will join the Varsity Shield next year. The promotion/relegation match kicks off at 14:30.
1: CUT singing the anthem during the Varsity Cup match between CUT and UCT at CUT Stadium on Monday, 19 March 2018.
2: Geraldio Booysen of Shimlas during the Varsity Cup match between Shimlas and CUT at Shimlapark UFS on Monday, 26 March 2018.
By Carel Korff
Image credit: Van Zyl Naude (photographer)
Uploaded: 11 April 2018