Ikeys slice Shimlas, slide into final

On yet another wonderfully sunny afternoon in Bloemfontein, the Ikeys produced some seriously soothing on the optics rugby in their dominant 65-30 win over Shimlas, a result that saw them secure their place in the 2023 Varsity final.

The men in blue and white will now travel to Potch next Monday for the final against Pukke, who got past the Maties in a tough, physical game.

This is the second time in three years that the Ikeys have made the final, while for UFS, for the second year in a row, they were beaten in a home semi-final at Shimla Park.

Long-distance tries by Laro Delport and Reynhardt Crous saw the Ikeys race to a 16-0 lead after just eight minutes. With the writing already well and truly on the wall, Ntokozo Makhaza, Keagan Blanckenberg and Rethabile Louw took turns to cross the whitewash to put the game to bed.

The inside pass from flyhalf David Hayes to a flying Makhaza as part strike move off a lineout produced what might prove to be the try of the tournament. That inside option is something the Ikeys have been working on all campaign, and it must have been hugely gratifying for the coaching staff to see that come off as it did.

A try on the stroke of halftime by Litha Nkula finally got Shimlas on the board, much to the delight of the passionate home fans.

Post the half-time oranges, Duran Koevort struck got over for a brace early in the piece, while Hayes, named the Player that Rocks, also scored, bringing the Ikeys’ try tally to seven.

Shimlas got a bit of pride back through tries by Chadd Adams, Javier Farmer and Asanda Kunene.

But ultra pacy finisher, Lezane Davis, drove the final nail into the Shimlas coffin dotting down just before the final whistle.

For Shimlas it is more heartbreak after rebounding in the second half of the round-robin matches to put themselves in the position to host a semi-final. For Ikeys, it’s on to the final and the possibility of a third Varsity Cup title.

The final at the Fanie Du Toit Sports Ground in Potch next Monday (the 17th) kicks off at 19h00. It will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Shimlas 30 (7) – Tries: Litha Nkula, Chadd Adams, Javier Farmer, Asanda Kunene. Conversions: Ethan Wentzel (3).

Ikeys 65 (37) – Tries: Laro Delport, Reynhardt Crous, Ntokozo Makhaza, Keagan Blanckenberg, Duran Koevort (2), David Hayes, Lezane Davis. Conversions: Makhaza (5). Penalties: Makhaza (2).

FNB Player That Rocks: David Hayes

Ikeys: 15 Duran Koevort, 14 Rethabile Louw, 13 Josh Boulle, 12 Kyle Lamb, 10 David Hayes, 9 Asad Moos, 11 Ntokozo Makhaza, 8 Laro Delport, 7 Enos Ndiao, 6 Sipho Dyonase, 5 George van der Westhuizen, 4 Reynhardt Crous, 3 Bryan le Roux, 2 Keagan Blanckenberg, 1 Luthando Woji.

Bench: Alex Castle, Seth Christian, Jovan Bekker, Jac van der Walt, Jason MacLeod Smith, Hlumelo Ndudula, Lezane Davis, Rihaz Fredericks

Shimlas: 15 Mabece Avuyile, 14 Zondani Siviwe, 13 Annies Kurt, 12 Wentzel Ethan SJ 11 Kunene Asanda Sihle, 10 Nkula Litha Siyasanga (Levii), 9 Adams Chadd Gabby , 8 Dlamini Kwezi, 7 Mahlasi Thabang, 6 Oosthuizen Lourens, 5 Sjöblom Dylan, 4 Uys Pierre-Raymond, 3 Dos Reis Francisco, 2 Moffat John, 1 Schutte Danie.