The Bloem derby delivers

The bigger UFS Shimlas centre, Jooste Nel, about to score his try in the big Bloemfontein derby against the CUT Ixias in the Varsity Cup. PHOTO: HANNES NAUDE

The Bloemfontein derby in the Varsity Cup on Monday night promised to deliver and it did in emphatic style with the University of the Free State Shimlas claiming the bragging rights.

The Shimlas ran riot at Shimla Park as they convincingly beat the Central University of Technology Ixias 68-36 to remain on track to secure their place in the semi-finals of the competition.

The tryfest in the City of Roses led to 14 tries being scored in total with nine going the way of the Shimlas, while the Ixias dotted down five times.

The player of the match, Lourens Oosthuizen, scored a brace of seven-point tries for the hosts, while Kwezi Dlamini, William Moffat, Dylan Sjöblom, Chadd Adams, AV Maceve, Liyema Mgwigwi, Jooste Nel also found themselves on the scoresheet.

For the Ixias, the flanker Janco Cloete and the captain Jandré de Beer each scored a brace of tries, while the prop Mamello Moshoaliba also crossed the whitewash.

The win moved the Shimlas up to third on the log on 20 points and just one shy of the second placed Maties. The North West University Eagles will end at the top of the log and secure a home semi-final after they beat the UCT Ikeys 42-26 in Cape Town. The team from Potchefstroom will still play against Wits in Johannesburg on Monday in their final round-robin game.

On Monday night, the Shimlas will play against the Maties at the iconic Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and the winner of this game will finish second on the log and also secure a home semi-final.

The Ixias dropped down to sixth on the table, but are still in for a shot to reach the semi-finals. On Monday, they will play at home and they need to beat the fifth-placed Ikeys with a bonus point to keep their chances alive. Both the Ixias and Ikeys are on 17 points, but the team from the Mother City has a far superior points difference. In addition, the Ixias will require a big favour from the Eagles as Wits are currently fourth on the log with 18 points.

The biggest shock was, however, the defending champions, the University of Pretoria Tuks, being relegated to the Varsity Shield. On Monday night, the double-defending champions were beaten 33-21 by Wits for what was their sixth-straight defeat in the tournament. On Monday, the Stripe Nation will face the Orange Army of UJ, but they cannot better the position on the log. A win for the team from the capital city will merely serve as a consolation.

Monday’s game between the Ixias and Ikeys at CUT Park will kick off at 17:00, while at 19:00 the Maties tackle the Shimlas in Coetzenburg. – MORGAN PIEK