Photo Credit: Supplied

The Free State’s UFS Shimlas have been crowned the 2024 Varsity Cup Champions; making their province incredibly proud!


South Africa (23 April 2024) – The University of the Free State’s UFS Shimlas are the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup champions after beating the University of Cape Town’s UCT Ikeys 45-42 in an epic final at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein.

The Shimlas snatched the win on the stroke of full-time thanks to an Ethan Wentzel penalty, giving them their title since 2015.

Shimlas scrumhalf Jandré Nel was named the Player That Rocks and judging by his face after the game, one could see it truly was a matter of blood, sweat and tears that led the team of Bloemfontein to this fantastic moment in the world of varsity rugby.

The Ikeys got off to a very fast start with Keagan Blanckenberg and Jonathan Roche scoring for the visitors. Nel stuck back for the Shimlas with his first try, before the hooker Liyema Mgwigwi also got in on the action for the hosts.

Rethabile Louw dotted down from an intercept and Duran Koevort sliced through the defence for his five-pointer for UCT. Ethan Wentzel then scored for the hosts while Mgwigwi completed his brace on the stroke of half-time. Ikeys had their noses in the lead by 31-26.

A defining moment in the game was Nel’s second try early in the second half, which was later upgraded to a point-of-origin try. Siviwe Zondani also scored for the home team. Bryan le Roux levelled matters for the Ikeys and they could have won the game with two minutes to play, but Ntokozo Makhaza missed the conversion.

With the game level at 42-42 it was heading to extra time, but two minutes after the hooter, the Shimlas were awarded a penalty. What was arguably the most important kick of his life, Wentzel split the uprights to hand his team the well-deserved Varsity Cup victory.


UFS Shimlas 45 (26) – Tries: Jandre Nel (2), Liyema Mgwigwi (2), Ethan Wentzel, Siviwe Zondani. Conversions: Ethan Wentzel (4). Penalties: Ethan Wentzel.

UCT Ikeys 45 (31) – Tries: Keagan Blanckenberg, Jonathan Roche, Rethabile Louw, Duran Koevort, Bryan le Roux. Conversions: Ntokozo Makhaza (3). Penalties: Ntokozo Makhaza (3).


UFS Shimlas: Ntokozo Hlophe, Liyema Mgwigwi, Francisco Dos Reis, Reinier Juan Martin Viljoen, John Raymond Stopforth, Sobe Siyambuka Nakhane Ningiza, Pierre-Raymond Freddie Uys, Kwezi Dlamini, Jandre Nel, Ethan SJ Wentzel, Asanda Sihle Kunene, Zane Bester, Nkoka Sydney Luvuyo Ngobe, Siviwe Zondani, Michael Jnr Kurt Annies.

UCT Ikeys: Luthando Solomon Woji, Keagan Jordan Blanckenberg, John Kelly Ifechukwu Okonkwo, Reynhardt Wouter Crous, Johan Van Rhyn, Siphumezo Dyonase, Taariq Mohammed Kruger, Laro Delport, Asad Moos, Alexander Vermeulen, Ntokozo Sibusiso Makhaza, Jonathan Roche, Joshua Michael Boulle, Rethabile Donovan Louw, Duran Ryan Koevort.

Overall Player That Rocks: Ntokozo Makhaza (FNB UCT Ikeys)

 Back That Rocks: Matthew Fortuin (FNB NWU Eagles)

Forward That Rocks: Enos Ndiao (FNB UCT Ikeys)

Rookie Of The Year: Likhona Finca (FNB UJ)

Sources: Supplied—Karina van den Heever
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Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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