04 April 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Varsity Cup
Lubabalo Dobela
Flyhalf Lubabalo Dobela will be an important cog in the wheel for the Shimlas against the Maties in the semi-final stage of the Varsity Cup. He has been named Player that Rocks twice this year.

The Shimlas (University of the Free State) will go into the semi-final against the unbeaten Maties with confidence, knowing that they can compete against them, said coach Hendro Scholtz.

The Shimlas will travel to Stellenbosch for the Varsity Cup clash on Monday (8 April). They qualified for the play-offs thanks to a 38-14 victory over the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in the final round of the competition on Monday 1 April 2019.

The Free State students lost to the Maties by 59-14 two weeks ago, and although the score reflects a big hiding, the Shimlas stood tall for most of the encounter.

“With 18 minutes remaining, we trailed by only ten points (14-24). We can gain confidence from that. We learned a couple of things about them. We will have to stop their driving mall and be sharp when it comes to our discipline. They will hurt us if we concede penalties,” said Scholtz.

According to him, it is important to get off to a good start. “You often sit with students who have other things to think about apart from rugby, such as upcoming tests, which can hamper their concentration. Against UJ in the wet, it was important to play the conditions right, and I think it made the players concentrate that little bit more.”

The Shimlas won four of their eight group matches and will look back on their defeats against the Pukke and Ixias as matches that they could easily have won on another day.

It is the fifth time in the 12 years of the Varsity Cup that the Shimlas have reached the final-four stage, with one win in 2015 over the Ikeys.

The Shimlas will be without two of their key men among the forwards – the injured flank Janco Cloete and hooker Hanno Snyman.


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