In a hat-trick victory for university rugby world cup championship, the UCT Ikeys made sure to bring the cup back home for another four years after the recent tournament held in France.
The Ikey Tigers beat the University of Bordeaux in the final of the World University Rugby Invitational Tournament in Bordeaux, France, with a nail-biting 17-20 scoreline on September 29.
“After winning the inaugural tournament in 2015, hosted by the University of Oxford in England, then defending their title in 2019 at the University of Waseda in Japan, the Ikey Tigers found themselves in a truly unique position to make it three on the bounce in Bordeaux,” a statement by the winning team read.
“Having suffered their first-ever loss in the tournament to the hosts in the pool stages, the final offered up a chance to settle the score.
“And while the 17-20 scoreline might suggest a relatively close encounter, this was a game bossed by the men in blue and white.
“The World University Rugby Invitational Tournament (WURIT) is a bit of a mouthful, and also something that has tended to slide beneath the radar, despite this being the third edition.
“It’s an international rugby tournament organised every four years in the country hosting the Rugby World Cup, that looks to bring together teams from the world’s top universities.”
The 2023 Ikeys squad took the championship under the management of head coach Rob Fleck, Mike van Rheede, Piet Cilliers and Raun Billett.
WURIT Bordeaux 2023 is the third such tournament, preceded by two others: the one organised in 2015 by the University of Oxford in England and the one organised in 2019 by the University of Waseda in Japan, where the University of Bordeaux finished second.
For this third tournament, the University of Bordeaux also hosted a women’s competition for the first time since the creation of the tournament.
Beyond the competitive aspect, the WURIT promotes a spirit of global friendship and cultural exchange.
Players had the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, engage in local outreach initiatives and immerse themselves in French culture during the tournament.