Shimlas to face Ikeys in Varsity Cup final

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Asanda Kunene. PHOTO: Luigi Bennett/ ASEM Engage

The University of the Free State Shimlas and the University of Cape Town Ikeys will contest the 2024 Varsity Cup final in Bloemfontein next week.

Last night the Shimlas booked a home final in the tournament when they beat the much-more fancied five-time champions, Maties, 38-24 at a capacity Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.

The former Junior Springbok, Michael Annies, opened the scoring for the Shimlas in Coetzenburg, while the man of the match, Asanda Kunene, darted over from a brace of tries. In addition, Neels Volschenk and Zane Bester, each dotted down for the visitors, while the flyhalf Ethan Wentzel landed two conversions and a penalty.

The Maties tries came via Matthys Kitshoff, Ezekiel Ngobeni, Aydon Topley and Ammaar Burton, while Juan Mostert slotted two conversions.

Ntokozo Makhaza scored 15 points with five penalties – ASEM Engage

The Ikeys in turn once again prove to be the nemeses of the outgoing champions, the North West University Eagles, with a 32-18 win at the Fanie du Toit Sports Ground in Potchefstroom.

Duran Koevort scored a brace of tries for the visitors from the Mother City, while Mika Schubert also managed to cross the whitewash. The big difference was the educated boot of the winger Ntokozo Makhaza who landed five penalties to take his tally in Varsity Cup rugby to over 250 points.

Tian van Zyl, Mpho Kubheka and Calvin Clack all managed to score tries for the Eagles as they fought to the bitter end, while Zinedine Booysen landed a stunning drop goal.

The Shimlas coach, André Tredoux, told OFM Sport that it’s going to be a great finals day.

“It was a great day for Kovsies rugby yesterday by beating Maties in both the semi-finals of the Young Guns as well as the senior team,” said Tredoux.

“We’re looking forward to a great final and it’s going to be a tough game. The Ikeys have been about to go up to Potchefstroom and do the unlikely by beating the Pukke.

“We’ve got a lot of respect for Ikeys and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Gunter van Rensburg flying over for the first of his two tries in the Young Guns semi-final – Hannes Naudé

Meanwhile the UFS Young Guns cruised into the final of the Young Guns competition by beating the Maties in their semi-final in Bloemfontein. The fullback, Gunter van Rensburg, scored two early tries for Kovsies as they beat the team from Stellenbosch 39-17. They will face the NWU Young Guns who in turn beat the Ikeys Young Guns 31-24 in Potchefstroom.

Monday’s final at Shimla Park will kick-off at 19:00.

Scorers:

Maties vs. Shimlas

Maties: Tries – Matthys Kitshoff, Ezekiel Ngobeni, Aydon Topley, Ammaar Burton Conv. – Juan Mostert 2

Shimlas: Tries – Michael Annies, Asanda Kunene 2, Neels Volschenk, Zane Bester Conv. – Ethan Wentzel 2 Pen. – Wentzel

NWU Eagles vs. Ikeys

NWU Eagles: Tries – Tian van Zyl, Mpho Kubheka, Calvin Clack Drop Goal – Zinedine Robinson.

Ikeys: Tries – Duran Koevort 2, Mika Schubert Pen. – Ntokozo Makhaza 5

UFS Young Guns vs. Maties Young Guns

UFS Young Guns: Tries – Gunter van Rensburg 2, Bukhosi Dhlamini, Stephanus Linde, Maynard Kleynhans, Henry Jonker Conv. – Shaun Ray 2, Ramon Uys Pen. – Ray

Maties Young Guns: Try – Max du Pisani, Grant de Jager Conv. – Eldridge Jack 2 Pen. – Eldridge Jack

Morgan Piek