On Saturday the Ikey Tigers lost their Intervarsity clash against Maties 18-19, ending a ten-game winning streak they had engineered in the Varsity Cup and in the first few games of the WP Super League.
The game was a fiercely fought battle, with the Ikeys leading 18-16, with only minutes to go. The Stellenbosch side snatched the win away from them within the final minutes at the hands of a penalty try.
When coach Kevin Musikanth was asked about what he thinks went wrong he said “our game plan was to maul them and scrum them, which worked completely but unfortunately the overall reward wasn't there.”
Referring to the break-down area he said “The yellow cards that the opposition are usually given when consistently pulling down mauls, and the penalty tries that are usually awarded when front rows repetitively stand-up didn’t happen. So there was a lot of frustration here.”
The coach also cites frustration at the fact that the side threw an intercept pass at the beginning of the game.
On the bright side, however, he said “our ‘plan’ worked as we completely dismantled the Maties pack - worse than we did in the Varsity Cup and we did pull ourselves back and 18-16 with a minute to go.”
In terms of what areas of the game they team will be looking to improve on, he said, “we need to deal with making correct decisions on when to throw the 50/50 passes. The miracle offload, as much as it worked in the Varsity Cup final, doesn't always work and none of them came off in this match which was disappointing.”
Speaking about which areas of the game he believes the Tigers were impressive in he commented “Stellenbosch were determined and had nothing to lose and were fully committed to the cause which was good, but fundamentally, despite us being off-form our set phases were way better than theirs, their scrum got completely dismantled and we let ourselves down by not capitalizing here. Unfortunately the luck wasn’t with us this time.”
Tomorrow, the Ikeys return to the WP Super League, taking on SK Walmers in their fourth match of the tournament. The side will look to bounce back from Saturday’s loss with a win against the Walmers, who have given impressive performances thus far in the season and will be sure to prove challenging.
“We will fight back and are determined to compete harder and are 100 percent committed to the WPSL. All teams lose so we mustn't cry over spilt milk and stand up and fight and make it right. We need to learn our lesson,” said the coach.