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Boks stunned in Bloemfontein



NO WAY THROUGH . . . South Africa’s stand-in captain Handre Pollard is tackled by Ryan Elias and Louis Rees-Zammit of Wales during their match at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfoontein (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla/Daily Maverick)

Replacement fly half Gareth Anscombe kicked a late conversion from the touchline as Wales claimed their first ever away victory in South Africa with an error-strewn 13-12 success over a much-changed Springboks at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein this Saturday evening.

Wing Josh Adams crossed for the only try of the game with two minutes left on the clock, leaving Anscombe with a difficult conversion to win the game, but he landed the ball through the centre of the posts to make history for Wayne Pivac’s side.

Stand-in captain Handre Pollard kicked four penalties for a Boks side that had 14 changes in their starting XV from the first test win and never found any fluency in a game where they mostly dominated territory until the final 10 minutes.

The third and deciding test in the series will be played in Cape Town next Saturday. – Independent

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Shimlas advance to semis



Staff Reporter

Monday’s heavy downpour did nothing to stop the match between the University of Free State’s Shimlas and the Tuks from the University of Pretoria as the hosts literally ran on water and booked their place in the Varsity Cup semi-finals.

According to KovsieSport, it took a try in the 79th minute by the replacement Kwezi Dlamini to secure the victory, as the Shimlas claimed their first Tuks win in four years.

Even in trying conditions the Shimlas stuck to their running style of play to beat the defending champions 26-15 at Shimla Park at the Bloemfontein campus.

It was largely thanks to a superb first half where the Shimlas ran the visitors off their feet and were leading 19-3 at the break.

The centre Jooste Nel opened the scoring in the sixth minute after a great move close to the try line.

The home team was leading 19-3 after 34 minutes when play was suddenly stopped with lightning approaching.

This could have been the worst outcome for the Shimlas as a result only counted after 40 minutes are played.

It was the second time this season that a UFS home match was influenced by lightning – its Ikeys game was postponed.

Luckily for the Shimlas play resumed.

The University of Pretoria came back well in the second half, got more momentum and in the last 10 minutes were trailing only 15-19 after Allister Williams scored from a driving maul.

But the Shimlas defended well and stars like Thabo Ndimande, the man of the match, refused to give up.

Ndimande was good at the breakdown, flyhalf George Lourens managed matters impressively and physical players like Ruwald van der Merwe made their presence count.

Shimlas 26 (19): Tries: Jooste Nel, Ruwald van der Merwe, Litha Nkula, Kwezi Dlamini. Conversions: Nkula (3).

Tuks 15 (3): Tries: Mihlali Stamper, Allister Williams. Conversion: Stephan Coetzee. Penalty: Walter Visser. – KovsieSport

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Cheetahs stay perfect with Pumas victory



The Cheetahs continued with their unbeaten run as they scored three tries en route to a convincing victory over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Saturday.

A dominant second-half performance gave them a 28-17 win.

The Cheetahs made the trip from Bloemfontein looking to make it three wins from three in their Currie Cup campaign.

It was, however, the hosts who put the first points on the board from the boot of flyhalf Eddie Fouche in the second minute.

The visitors drew level two minutes later after veteran Ruan Pienaar kicked a penalty to open his side’s account.

Two tries followed, by Gideon van der Merwe and Clayton Blommetjies, to stretch the Cheetahs’ lead – good reward for ambitious and slick attacking play.

After appearing to be shell-shocked in the opening 20 minutes, the Pumas started to find their feet.

They counter-punched and managed to win three penalties, all duly converted by Fouche, to inch their way back into the contest.

At half time the score read 15-12 to the visitors.

The second half continued the trend of Cheetahs dominance.

Louis van der Westhuizen scored five minutes after the break, with Pienaar adding the extras to stretch the Cheetahs’ lead to 10 points.

The Pumas hit back with a try of their own through Eduan Swart to keep them in the contest.

However, ultimately it would prove insufficient as the Cheetahs continued to turn the screws.

Two more penalties by Ruan Pienaar and a long-distance effort from Frans Steyn put the result beyond doubt. – SA Rugby Mag

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CUT names new rugby head coach



Staff Reporter

The Central University of Technology (CUT) has named Braam van Straaten as head coach of the Free State institution’s rugby team.

A statement from the university says Van Straaten, who turns 50 next week, boasts a wealth of experience which includes stints at international level with the Wallabies (Australia), Bermuda and Namibia as well as in Super Rugby with the Western Force (Australia), the Sharks and the Southern Kings.

According to the club vice-chairperson, André Pawson, the CUT Ixias will again be in excellent hands with the experienced coach in charge.

“We are super excited having Braam van Straaten at the steer of our rugby on campus,” Pawson is quoted as saying in the statement.

“He is an excellent coach, with a superb track record as general, defence and kicking coach, from provincial to international level.

“We are confident that Van Straaten will continue taking the CUT to even higher heights than we enjoyed over the last five years.”

CUT is expected to announce the rest of the rugby team’s coaching support staff soon.

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