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19 April 2024 | Story Anthony Mthembu | Photo Francois van Vuuren
Varsity Cup Shimlas
The FNB UFS Shimlas are confident to emerge victorious as they prepare to go against the FNB UCT Ikeys in FNB Varsity Cup final.

The FNB UFS Shimlas are confident of securing a win in the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup final as they prepare to take on the FNB UCT Ikeys at the University of the Free State (UFS) Shimla Park in Bloemfontein on 22 April 2024 at 19:00. 

This marks the first time since 2015 that the final is being hosted at Shimla Park. As such, the Shimlas hope to use this home ground advantage to emerge victorious.

Prof Francis Petersen, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UFS, says he commends each player for their dedication, resilience, and sportsmanship throughout the season. “I will be cheering on the team – their efforts and commitment have already made us proud, and we look forward to supporting them on home ground. We are also immensely grateful to the coaching team for their support to the Shimlas. Good luck to the team, and know that every fellow Kovsie is behind you,” says Prof Petersen.

The Shimlas advanced to the final after a 38-24 win over the FNB Maties in the semi-finals held at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on 15 April 2024. According to André Tredoux, Head Coach of the FNB UFS Shimlas, this is a tremendous win for the team, as the FNB Maties have only lost ten times in the history of the FNB Varsity Cup when playing at home. In addition, he credits Assistant Coaches Melusi Mthethwa and Tiaan Liebenberg’s hard work for the success of the team up to this point.

The mindset of the UFS Shimlas heading into the final

According to Tredoux, the team assumes a new approach and mindset in preparation for each game. In the semi-finals, the team adopted the motto ‘breathe to succeed’, which helped align the focus and attitude of the team in the game. However, as the final approaches, he indicates that, “The big thing going into a final is to stick to our processes with our intensity, and then also for the medical team and the strength and conditioning team to get the team healthy”.

In addition, Tredoux encourages the UFS community to show up in their numbers to support the FNB UFS Shimlas. “The technical team will have a good plan and the players are ready to play with everything for the Cup. We have the firepower to do it with the support of the Kovsie students,” Tredoux expressed. He also highlights that those in attendance can expect a great atmosphere and some ‘awesome rugby’. This is because the FNB UFS Young Guns will also battle the FNB NWU Young Guns at Shimla Park on 22 April 2024 from 15:30.

Those interested in seeing any of this action can still purchase their tickets on the Varsity Cup website here

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