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Full circle for Shimlas as Varsity Cup glory beckons

The 2024 FNB Varsity Cup will come full circle for FNB UFS Shimlas when they welcome FNB UCT Ikeys to Bloemfontein on Monday 22 April in what is set to be a thrilling final. Kick-off is at 19:00.  


The Shimlas secured their first final spot since 2015 when they beat five-time champions FNB Maties in Stellenbosch while Ikeys stunned defending champions FNB NWU Eagles in Potchefstroom. 


When the 2024 kicked off just over two months ago, it was the same two sides who clashed in the City of Roses, with the visitors from Cape Town carving out a hard-fought 38-32 win.  


The Shimlas’ only title nine years ago was thanks to an emphatic 63-33 victory over the Eagles. Ikeys previously lifted the trophy in 2011 and 2014, having played in four other finals, most recently finishing as runners-up last year.  


UFS star outside centre Zane Bester, who is likely to link up with the Cheetahs after the Varsity Cup, says winning the semi-final against the Maroon Machine in the Danie Craven Stadium was very special indeed. Their confidence now is high heading into a home final.  


“It was amazing to win the semi-final. I don't think there are words I can use to describe how together we felt as a team in winning it. 


“The last kick-off in the match, our captain Pierre Uys told us ‘Just do me a favour and win the last kick-off’ and we did it. So, I think we are ready, our confidence is high, but we are also very humble. 


“It's the first time in a very long time that Shimlas will be there, so we as the team of 2024 are privileged and we know what position we are into be able to play in the final.” 


It has been a brilliant season for Shimlas all around, with the FNB UFS Shimlas Young Guns who advanced to the 2024 FNB Young Guns final. They take on the FNB NWU Eagles Young Guns on Monday at 15:30, also in Bloemfontein.  

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