Rayners reigns with five-goal tally

Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch scored all five goals in their 5-0 victory over Polokwane City. | BackpagePix

Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch scored all five goals in their 5-0 victory over Polokwane City. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 29, 2024


Zaahier Adams

When a bowler claims a five-wicket haul in cricket it is termed a five-for, or a “Michelle”.

The term comes from the name of former Hollywood actress Michelle Pfeiffer.

Well, Stellenbosch FC forward Iqraam Rayners left the Danie Craven Stadium with his own Michelle on Saturday evening after banging in a record-equalling five goals against Polokwane City in their DStv Premiership encounter.

Iqraam Rayners celebrates after scoring one of his five goals against Polokwane City. | BackpagePix
Steve Barker's Stellenbosch continue their excellent form across all competitions. | BackpagePix

Rayners’ five-star performance not only cemented Steve Barker’s team’s grip on second spot with 46 points, but also propelled the 28-year-old to the top of the goalscorers table with 13 strikes.

Barker was certainly full of praise for his ace marksman.

“They were five special goals, all quality goals. Composed and quality finishes,” Barker said. “He is playing himself in contention for player of the season as he showed his qualities as a goalscorer.”

Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC was the player of the match for his efforts against Polokwane City. | Backpagepix

Rayners is no young upstart, having begun his career at former Cape Town giants Santos FC before enjoying a successful period at Stellenbosch FC in the National First Division, which earned him a move up country to SuperSport United.

Unfortunately, Rayners’ time in the nation’s capital was unsuccessful and after three seasons returned to Stellies. Barker, though, welcomed him home with open arms, which immediately yielded a change in fortunes for the prolific striker.

“It was just a question of 'Ikkie' being back in a happy place. For me, it was about the position he played, which is the No 9 down the middle,” Barker said.

“I think at SuperSport, he wasn't used as an out-and-out striker. So, when he came back, the way he started, he went through a purple patch where he just scored goals.”

— Stellenbosch FC (@StellenboschFC) April 28, 2024

Barker also feels that Rayners has the qualities to not only perform domestically in the DStv Premiership, but also internationally for Bafana Bafana.

“He is natural goalscorer. You can see that he knows what he wants to do. He won't just take a shot when he knows it's going to get blocked, so he always tries to create a better angle,” Barker said.

“He has always had that in him. And now that he's had a Bafana Bafana call-up, and coming back from the Bafana squad, his game has gone up to an even higher level, especially his link-up play and scoring goals.

“He is doing himself a lot of favours and hopefully he can hold on to that position. He has got pace, a clean strike.

“That first goal shows that ability, and he has got a good technique. He showed that when he played in the wide areas. And you also see how he is able to change play when the ball is on his left foot.

“Technically very good and confident right now. Goalscoring is a lot about decision making and ‘Ikkie’ makes really good decisions.”

Barker will hope Rayners can maintain his form through to the end of the season, as Stellies look to gain qualification to the CAF Champions League for the first time, while the Winelands club are also still set to face the mighty Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup semi-final on Sunday (May 5).