Intervarsity at the University of Cape Town on Saturday was a real treat.
The match pit the unbeaten Ikeys against defending champions Maties.
While fans probably expected the students from Stellenbosch to run away with the win, their hosts took the field eager to defend their turf with all they had.
And they did.
But in the end, the Ikey Tigers’ claws were simply not sharp enough to cut through Maties, who won the match 23-20.
The good news for Western Province club rugby, though, is that Ikeys, who are at the top of the Super League A standings after five wins from six matches, are back in the big time and look like they will be competing for the title this year.
With Maties blowing away everyone else, it’s heartening to see that some teams are stepping up to close the gap on the champions.
The match against Maties wasn’t the only intervarsity showdown involving Ikeys last week, as they also got the better of UWC (33-25) in their midweek encounter.
Back to the title race.
Another team that has successfully closed that gap on Maties over the past few years is False Bay.
Still unbeaten after four matches, the Bay again ran wild against Paarl this past weekend.
Having beaten the Paarlites 59-24 they also closed the gap on log leaders UCT, who have played two more games than they have.
False Bay weren’t the only team to register a half-century, with Durbell beating Villager 50-7 in Durbanville.
The only other match this past weekend took place at the University of the Western Cape’s sports ground in Bellville.
It’s there where UWC hosted Tygerberg. And what a derby it turned out to be.
Having had their first taste of Varsity Cup action this year, the students from Bellville are proving to be a handful in the Super League.
Yes, they lost to log leaders Ikeys earlier in the week, but then pulled themselves together to stun Tygerberg 26-24 in a thrilling encounter.
The victory lifted coach Chester Williams’ men to third on the log after three wins from five outings, with the Tiere in fifth place after suffering their first defeat of the year.
Only two Super League A matches take place this week, with UWC playing in one of them.
That is a visit to Parow where they’ll face NTK which will provide the students another opportunity to strengthen their log position.
Ikeys, meanwhile, play in the other match and will have to be at their very best if they want to get the better of UniMil in Cape Town.