Toyota Cheetahs News Toyota Cheetahs News U18 Craven Week <br> Free State continued their fine form in the tournament and delivered a solid performance for a 54-33 victory against DHL Western Province. The first half was gripping as the teams exchanged tries throughout the half, with the Free State taking a narrow 29-26 lead. The Bloemfontein side, however, built on their attack as the game progressed, while they tightened up their defence, to earn seven tries to the Cape sideandrsquo;s five. Free State flyhalf Christopher Schreuder, meanwhile, kept the scoreboard ticking with his effective kicking and earned five conversions, two penalty goals and a drop goal for his efforts.<br> The Blue Bulls also finished the tournament with a victory as they pipped Border 45-40. Blue Bulls centre Marnus Potgieter scored hat-trick, while fullback Diego Appollis earned a brace and flyhalf Ulrich Maritz slotted over five conversions in key performances for the side. In the end an unconverted try was the difference scoreboard as the Pretoria side scored seven tries to Borderandrsquo;s six. <br> SWD overcame a strong challenge from the Pumas for a rewarding 49-36 victory after trailing 17-14 at halftime. The first half was tight as the teams proved to be closely matched in all areas of their game, but the lapses in defence by both sides in the second half saw SWD increase their try tally to seven, while the Mpumalanga side were only able to score five. SWD flyhalf James Mollentze made a valuable contribution to their score as he scored a try and kicked seven conversions for 19 points. <br><br> <br> A penalty goal proved to be the difference on the scoreboard as Eastern Province held on in a tough encounter against the Leopards for a 29-26 victory. The Eastern Cape side worked their way to an encouraging 15-5 lead at the break, but they faced a determined onslaught from the Leopards in the second half. Both sides scored four tries and kicked three conversions in the match, but the penalty goal by Eastern Province proved vital as it nudged them to victory.<br> The Valke staged a strong second-half comeback from 17-29 down against Griquas CD to secure a narrow 43-41 victory in a thrilling match. Three Valke players contributed a brace to the teamandrsquo;s seven tries, while Griquas CDandrsquo;s six tries, four conversions and penalty goal allowed them to remain in the game. Their determined efforts, however, were not enough in the end.<br> GWK Griquas started their clash with a bang as they ran in three tries in the first 10 minutes for a 21-0 lead, but they faced a tough challenge from the Limpopo Blue Bulls as the match progressed. The Kimberley side won 57-34 in the end as they delivered a constructive performance with their forwards and backs doing their bit on attack to guide the side to nine tries - three of which were scored by hooker Rory Leijdekkers. Limpopo centre Vincent Roos also touched down three times for his team, but the sideandrsquo;s efforts were not enough to outplay GWK Griquas.<br> In the International, meanwhile, Namibia defeated Old Mutual Zimbabwe 45-21 spurred on by a fantastic performance by Namibian fullback Delron Brandt. The player scored two of the teamandrsquo;s six tries and slotted over six conversions and a penalty goal for 25 points, while they limited the opposition to two first-half tries and one in the second half.<br> The Tshepa Trading Griffonsandrsquo; stamped their authority early on against Boland to steer their way to a comprehensive 42-12 victory after taking a 22-0 lead at the break. The Welkom sideandrsquo;s flyhalf Andrew Kota was instrumental in their success as he scored one of the teamandrsquo;s five tries, while he kicked four conversions and three penalty goals for 22 points. The Tshepa Trading Griffons backed up this efficient attacking display with solid defence to limit Boland to two tries for their efforts.<br> Eastern Province CD ran riot on attack to score 12 tries for a 70-0 victory against Border CD thanks to their effective attack, with hooker Dean Jenkins scoring a hat-trick They supported this with a solid showing on defence, to deny Border CD from scoring a point.<br><br> <br> Coca-Cola Academy Week<br> The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions XV ensured that they finished the tournament on a high note in front of their home crowd as they powered their way to a 45-14 victory against SWD thanks to a dominant second half performance. Such was the good quality of their attack and defence they ran in a total of seven tries to two by the George side. However, they were tested thoroughly in the first half, which saw them take a narrow 13-7 lead. <br> A classy performance by Free State flyhalf Alex-Zander Du Plessis, meanwhile, set up his team for a 38-29 victory against the Sharks, with a personal total of 28 points thanks to his hat-trick, five conversions and penalty goal. The Bloemfontein side led 21-19 at the break, but their accurate goal-kicking handed them the edge on the scoreboard as each side scored five tries in the match.<br> Border also held their nerve in a tight affair against the Tshepa Trading Griffons to convert their 12-10 halftime lead into a 34-27 victory. Border lock Simbongile Kampi was a star player for his team as he scored three of their five tries, while fullback Sibalomzi Mqeniandrsquo;s superior goal-kicking thanks to his three conversions and penalty goal, proved to be the difference on the scoreboard as both teams finished the match with five tries. <br> Six tries by Valke Platteland to five by the Limpopo Blue Bulls earned them a 38-31 victory in an entertaining match. Valke Platteland made their presence felt early on to play their way to a 23-7 lead at the break, and that paved the way for their victory despite a strong second-half fightback by the Limpopo side in which they scored 24 points. <br> The Leopards solid goal-kicking also secured a 35-34 victory for them against Eastern Province, as the team was outscored six tries to five by the Eastern Cape side. The Potchefstroom team led 21-17 at the break and they added two converted tries in a closely fought second half in which Eastern Province scored 17 points, but their five conversions was enough to seal the victory.<br> A strong first half showing by GWK Griquas CD in which they built up a 33-12 lead earned them a 59-30 victory against Border CD. In total GWK Griquas CD ran in nine tries to four by Border CD, with centre Valdo Pieters and scrumhalf Charl Olivier each contributing a brace.<br><br> <br> Eastern Province CD and the Pumas were involved in a tight tussle from start to end, with the Eastern Cape side taking a narrow 17-14 halftime lead, while they managed to hang on for a 27-21 victory. Eastern Province CDandrsquo;s inaccurate goal-kicking andndash; an area the Pumas proved to be strong in andndash; cost them a few points, but fortunately they made better use of their opportunities to outscore the Pumas five tries to three.<br> The Tshepa Trading Griffons bounced back from trailing 19-12 at the break against Sharks CD to earn a 26-26 draw as both sides scored four tries and converted three in a tight match. Sharks CD winger Jacques Lindeque scored a hat-trick for his team in a fine display, which also earned him the man of the match award. <br> In another close encounter, hosts, the Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions defeated Boland 26-19 as they scored four tries to the Western Cape sides three. The Johannesburg team snuck 12-7 ahead in the first half and they capitalised on their point-scoring chances as the match continued and slotted over three of their four conversions to seal the victory.<br> In the Test match, Namibia overturned a 10-5 halftime deficit to defeat Old Mutual Zimbabwe 27-24. Namibia were solid on attack as they crossed the chalk five times, while they limited their African neighbours to three. But Old Mutual Zimbabweandrsquo;s effective goal-kicking which saw them convert all three tries and a kick a penalty goal kept them in the match. This, however, was not enough as they fell three points short on the scoreboard.<br><br> <br> The Valke and Pumas CD were involved in a gripping match, which saw the Kempton Park side register a close 40-36 victory. Such was the closeness of the match the Valke led 26-24 at the break, and the teams continued to throw everyone at one another as the match progressed, which saw the sides each earn six tries. The Valkeandrsquo;s kicking, however, proved to be the difference on the scoreboard.<br> GWK Griquas dominated their clash against the SA Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) team as they produced a balanced performance to power their way to a 17-0 lead, which they built on for a 22-10 victory. The SA LSEN team tightened up their defence in the second half and stepped up their attack to earn double figures, but these efforts were too little too late.<br><br> <br> U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day five results (Saturday, 22 July):<br> Eastern Province CD 70-0 Border CD<br> Limpopo Blue Bulls 34-57 GWK Griquas<br> Namibia 45-21 Old Mutual Zimbabwe<br> Valke 43-41 GWK Griquas CD<br> Eastern Province 29-26 Leopards<br> SWD 49-36 Pumas<br> Boland 12-42 Tshepa Trading Griffons<br> Border 40-45 Blue Bulls<br> Free State 54-33 DHL Western Province<br> Sharks 18-45 Bidvest Walton Golden Lions<br><br> <br> Coca-Cola Academy Week day five results (Saturday, 22 July):<br> Border CD 30-59 GWK Griquas CD<br> Pumas 21-27 Eastern Province CD<br> Old Mutual Zimbabwe 24-27 Namibia<br> Sharks CD 26-26 Tshepa Trading Griffons CD<br> Boland 19-26 Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions<br> SA LSEN 10-22 GWK Griquas<br> Pumas CD 36-40 Valke<br> Sharks 29-38 Free State<br> Eastern Province 34-35 Leopards<br> Limpopo Blue Bulls 31-38 Valke Platteland<br> Border 34-27 Tshepa Trading Griffons<br> Blue Bulls 49-37 DHL Western Province<br> SWD 14-45 Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions XV<br> <br> <br> <br><br> 2017-07-24 Tries galore in opening round of Currie Cup - Round One review <br> The Toyota Free State Cheetahs started their defence of the Currie Cup - presented by Nashua and Direct Axis - in spectacular fashion at home by beating the Cell C Sharks 47-12, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls showed they want to play in the finals in October again with a solid 51-45 away win over Tafel Lager Griquas. Meanwhile the Steval Pumas started in impressive fashion by beating the Xerox Golden Lions in Nelspruit to register a 43-36 win on Sunday.<br><br> <br> The seventh team in the Premier Division, DHL Western Province, had a bye.<br> The lead in Nelspruit changed several times, but the final two scores were the telling ones for the home side. The Steval Pumas had a 24-17 lead at the break, but a try for Ashlon Davids 15 minutes from the end have them the lead. Two tries by the home side in the Mbombela Stadium, first by captain, Hennie Skorbinski, and a second one to Gerhard Smith, took the lead from 38-36 and then 43-36.<br> Twelve tries at Tafel Lager Park made the trip on Saturday night an entertaining one for the Kimberley folk. The match was a ding-dong affair, with the home sideand#39;s refusal to give up, keeping the home crowd on the edge of their seats. The Vodacom Blue Bulls seemed to have it won after two tries in as many minutes by Warrick Gelant and Andre Warner. Two tries by Enver Brandt, the second a spectacular effort from 50 meters out, saw the home side sniffing the win, but Travis Ismaiel sealed the deal with a late try.<br><br> <br> On Friday, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs ran in six tries to claim a 47-12 win (halftime 17-7) over the Cell C Sharks in the opening match of the 2017 Currie Cup at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.<br> After a disappointing Vodacom Super Rugby season, the Bloemfontein side turned on the heat to down the KwaZulu Natal counterparts in an enterprising encounter. The visitors were missing a host of front-line players, however the victory could be the tonic needed to spark the Free State side back to life after a tough start to the year.<br><br> <br> Summary of final results and scorers in Round One:<br> Steval Pumas 43 (24), Xerox Golden Lions 36 (17)<br> Steval Pumas - Tries: Francois Kleinhans, Nardus Van der Walt, Justin Van Staden, Hennie Skorbinski, Gerhard Smith (2). Conversions: Van Staden (5). Penalty: Van Staden.<br> Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Shaun Reynolds, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Stokkies Hanekom, Ashlon Davids, Bradley Thain. Conversions: Reynolds (4). Penalty: Reynolds.<br> Tafel Lager Griquas 45 (20), Vodacom Blue Bulls 51 (26)<br> Tafel Lager Griquas - Tries: Ederies Arendse, Ever Brandt (2), Christiaan Meyer, Jono Janse van Rensburg. Conversions: Andre Swarts (2), George Whitehead (2). Penalties: Swarts (4).<br> Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Abongile Nonkontwana, Piet van Zyl, Jaco Visagie, Duncan Matthews, Warrick Gelant, Andre Warner, Travis Ismaiel. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (3), Joshua Stander. Penalties: De Beer, Gelant.<br> Toyota Free State 47 (17), Cell C Sharks 12 (7)<br> Totota Free State - Tries: Uzair Cassiem, Francois Venter, Reinach Venter, Raymond Rhule, William Small-Smith, Zee Mkhabela. Conversions: Niel Marais (3), Clayton Blommetjies. Penalties: Marais (3).<br> Cell C Sharks - Tries: Sand#39;bura Sithole, Bandisa Ndlovu. Conversion: Benhard Janse van Rensburg.<br><br> 2017-07-24 TOYOTA CHEETAHS ACADEMY – BREEDING GROUND OF OPPORTUNITY–-BREEDING-GROUND-OF-OPPORTUNITY Toyota SA expands investment in the Toyota Cheetahs Academy.<br> Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), believes that "sports legends are made andndash; not born". Therefore<br> a commitment is required to honing local talent andndash; not just for future Cheetahs players, but for the<br> development of rugby in our country as a whole.<br><br> Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) is pleased to announce a further investment as the full naming rights partner to the Toyota Cheetahs Academy. Toyota SA over the past seven years, has cemented its support and commitment to both the Cheetahs and the Free State. The sponsorship has created incredible opportunities for Toyota SA to interact with not only Cheetahs fans but rugby supporters in and across South Africa. The sponsorship now extends even further by investing in the young talent and helping the Toyota Cheetahs to develop the rugby and life skills of our future Cheetahs and Springboks.<br><br> "The Free State is home to a rich pool of rugby talent and we are proud to be associated with the Toyota Cheetahs Academy. The possibility of helping young stars achieve their dreams, is a very exciting and humbling thought, which we are proud to be a part of." says Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors.<br><br> The Toyota Cheetahs Academy has since its inception in 2015 delivered top quality players for the Toyota Cheetahs senior team. In 2016 when the Toyota Cheetahs won the Currie Cup competition - no less than seven of the Currie Cup winners came through the Toyota Cheetahs academy system. Recent Springbok representatives Oupa Mohoje and Raymond Rule are further examples of the success of this Academy. This is further proof of the system delivering the next generation Toyota Cheetah players.<br> Harold Verster, MD Toyota Cheetahs commented: "The Toyota Cheetahs has long been the "conveyer belt" of Springboks thanks to a healthy junior system. The Toyota Cheetahs Academy is a critical part of our business. This investment from Toyota will give us even more opportunities to develop young players to represent the proud Cheetah brand, as well as the Springbok brand in future. Weandrsquo;d like to thank our sponsor and Partner andndash; Toyota SA!" <br><br> 2017-07-21 Women’s Interprovincial Competition gains momentum <br> The SA Rugby Womenandrsquo;s Interprovincial Competition is set to gain momentum on Saturday as the A-Division teams battle it out in round two following a high-scoring opening round a fortnight ago.<br> KwaZulu-Natal will host Western Province at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban, while defending champions Border will take on the Blue Bulls at the BCM Stadium in East London, and Free State and Eastern Province will go head-to-head at the Clive Solomons Stadium in Bloemfontein.<br> KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province come off strong starts to the competition in which they registered 40-point scores in their opening matches, and they will both be determined to build on that this weekend.<br> The last two outings between these coastal sides were close, with the Capetonians winning 12-11 on their home patch last season, while the KwaZulu-Natalians registered a 18-14 victory in their last match at home, and Saturdayandrsquo;s clash could prove to be another gripping encounter.<br> Border, meanwhile, will look to pick up on a rewarding start to the season in which they secured a 52-3 victory when they take on the Blue Bulls. But the Pretoria side, who met Border in the 2015 final, will have their sights set on earning their first win of the season after going down against Western Province at home in a disappointing start to the season. The Blue Bulls, however, will be under no illusions about the challenge ahead as the hosts have a good winning track record against them.<br> The clash between Free State and Eastern Province is also expected to deliver its fair share of action as both teams come off defeats and will want to turn things around early in the season. The teams scored a combined total of only eight points in their opening matches and conceded 95, and they will be determined to deliver much more effective performance on attack and defence this time around. <br> SA Rugby Womenandrsquo;s Interprovincial round two fixtures (Saturday, 22 July):<br> 15h00 andndash; KwaZulu-Natal v Western Province (Growthpoint Kings Park B Field)<br> 15h00 andndash; Border v Blue Bulls (BCM Stadium, East London)<br> 15h00 andndash; Free State v Eastern Province (Clive Solomons Stadium, Bloemfontein)<br><br> 2017-07-21 Currie Cup to take possession of hearts and minds again <br> <br> Sixteen weeks of stirring provincial rugby action will be kick-started on Friday evening when South Africaand#39;s favourite domestic competition, the Currie Cup, presented by Nashua and Direct Axis, kicks off in Bloemfontein, where the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, will start the defence of their crown against the Cell C Sharks.<br> <br> This tightly contested Premier Division affair at the Toyota Stadium on Friday will be followed on Saturday when two former champions, Tafel Lager Griquas and the Vodacom Blue Bulls, front up in Kimberley at Tafel Lager Park. The weekendand#39;s action will be concluded Sunday in Nelspruit, where the Steval Pumas will host the Xerox Golden Lions in the scenic Mbombela Stadium.<br> <br> DHL Western Province start with a bye.<br> <br> The 2017 edition of this iconic tournament will see these seven teams contest the Premier Division, playing each other twice on a home and away basis, with the semi-finals on 21 October and the final a week later on 28 October.<br> <br> Both winners in the last two seasons, the Xerox Golden Lions (2015) and Toyota Free State Cheetahs (2016), came through those respective campaigns undefeated and it will be a unique triple should the 2017 champions be crowned without losing a match.<br> <br> After an undefeated 2016 season, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, will look to start strong again. They added some serious strike power to their attack this season, with the inclusion of three Springbok Sevens players in their match day squad. Rosko Specman will start on the wing, while Cecil Afrika and Chris Dry will add punch off the bench.<br> <br> Incidentally, three more backline players, Clayton Blommetjies, William Small-Smith and Shaun Venter, also represented the Blitzboks earlier in their careers. The Free Staters already boast three Springboks in Francois Venter, Raymond Rhule and Uzair Cassiem and will be coached by Rory Duncan, who takes over from Franco Smith.<br> <br> The Cell C Sharks have a good mix of experience and potential in their starting fifteen, with two Currie Cup centurions (and former winners) Odwa Ndungane (133 matches) and Keegan Daniel (110 matches) in their midst. Daniel will lead the side on Friday.<br> <br> Ndungane made his provincial debut 17 years ago andndash; he has won the Currie Cup three times before and will be a valuable sound board to the next generation of Cell C Sharks players coming through this season. One of those will be 20-year-old winger, Ilunga Mukendi, who has shown good form in recent months and is expected to take over the mantle from the former Springbok wing.<br> <br> Newcomers to the 2017 squad include Ross Geldenhuys, Mzamo Majola and Tyler Paul, who represented the Southern Kings in Vodacom Super Rugby.<br> <br> Losing finalist in 2016, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, will have a new captain in Ruan Steenkamp, while the impact of their new Executive of Rugby, John Mitchell, will be keenly watched. Boom Prinsloo will lead the side in Kimberley, as Steenkamp battles with a hamstring injury.<br> <br> The side will be coached by Nollis Marais again, with Mitchell assisting with the attack for now. The likes of Springboks Jamba Ulengo, Rudy Paige and Piet van Zyl will provide some punch, with most of the squad well experienced, having played in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition. The try-scoring momentum brought by Warrick Gelant and Duncan Matthews will also stand the team in good stead.<br> <br> Tafel Lager Griquas will rely heavily on the squad that took them to the final of the recently completed SuperSport Rugby Challenge, but also welcome back Clinton Swart, who had a storming season with the Toyota Cheetahs in Vodacom Super Rugby, as well as Poerie van Rooyen, who played at the Southern Kings. Swart will start at centre and Van Rooyen off the bench.<br> <br> They have proven to be a tough nut to crack at home, losing only once in Kimberley in last yearand#39;s competition. AJ Coertzen will again lead the side into battle and coach Peter Engledow will be quietly confident of his charges chances to make it into the final four.<br> <br> The Steval Pumas also have a new coach, following the disappointing performances in 2016, when they only managed one win. Brent Janse van Rensburg has joined the union from Boland and the team already showed good endeavour in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.<br> <br> They have Chris Cloete, one of the stand-out flankers in Vodacom Super Rugby, back from Southern Kings duties, while prop Pieter Scholtz moved east from the Xerox Golden Lions, where he represented them in last yearand#39;s campaign. Cloete is injured at the moment though and was not considered for selection.<br> <br> The visitors will have some challenges to overcome early in the competition, as a number of the players expected to play in the Currie Cup are still busy with Vodacom Super Rugby commitments. The performances of the Xerox Golden Lions team that played in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge will be of comfort though, as they have beaten the Steval Pumas three times in that campaign. The Johannesburgers will become tougher to beat as their big name playersandrsquo; return, but have the depth and talent to stay unbeaten till then. Former Springboks, Springboks Sevens and Cell C Sharks player, Ryan Kankowski, will captain the side, with highly influential lock Marvin Orie to add experience to the pack.<br> <br> Currie Cup Round 1 fixtures:<br> <br> Friday, 21 July<br> <br> Toyota Free State vs Cell C Sharks<br> <br> Toyota Free State Cheetahs: Clayton Blommetjies, Rosko Specman, Francois Venter (captain), William Small-Smith, Raymond Rhule, Niel Marais, Shaun Venter, Henco Venter, Uzair Cassiem, Neil Jordaan, Reniel Hugo, Carl Wegner, Aranos Coetzee, Joseph Dweba, Charles Marais. Replacements: Ox Nche, Reinach Venter, Rynier Bernado, Chris Dry, Zee Mkhabela, JW Jonker, Cecil Afrika.<br> <br> Cell C Sharks: Courtney Winnaar, Odwa Ndungane, Sandrsquo;bura Sithole, Marius Louw, Ilunga Mukendi, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Rowan Gouws, Keegan Daniel (captain), Jacques Vermeulen, Khaya Majola, Hyron Andrews, Wian Vosloo, Ross Geldenhuys, Kerron van Vuuren, Mzamo Majola. Replacements: Andrew du Plessis, Thierry Kounga, Tyler Paul, Bandisa Ndlovu, Cameron Wright, Brandon Bailing, Inny Radebe.<br> <br> Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein<br> Kick-off: 19h00<br> TV: SS1<br> Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni<br> Assistant Referees: Jaco Pretorius and Jaco Kotze<br> TMO: JJ Wagner<br> <br> Saturday, 22 July<br> <br> Tafel Lager Griquas vs Vodacom Blue Bulls<br> <br> Tafel Lager Griquas: AJ Coertzen (captain), Ederies Arendse, Tertius Kruger, Clinton Swart, Koch Marx, Andrandeacute; Swarts, Christiaan Meyer, Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, Sias Koen, RJ Liebenberg, FP Pelser, Mzwanele Zito, Ewald van der Westhuizen, AJ le Roux, Liam Hendricks. Replacements: Marius Fourie, Nicolaas Oosthuizen, Jonathan Adendorf, Wendal Wehr, Poerie van Rooyen, George Whitehead, Enver Brandt.<br> <br> Vodacom Blue Bulls: Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Franco Naude, Burger Odendaal, Duncan Matthews, Tony Jantjies, Piet van Zyl, Nic de Jager, Jannes Kirsten, Boom Prinsloo (captain), Abongile Nonkontwana, Ruben van Heerden, Conraad van Vuuren, Jaco Visagie, Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: Jan-Henning Campher, John-Roy Jenkinson, Freddy Ngoza, Shaun Adendorff, Andre Warner, Tinus de Beer, JT Jackson.<br> <br> Venue: Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley<br> Kick-off: 19h30<br> TV: SS1<br> Referee: AJ Jacobs<br> Assistant Referees: Jaco Pretorius and Darren Colby<br> TMO: JJ Wagner<br> <br> Sunday, 23 July<br> <br> Steval Pumas vs Xerox Golden Lions<br> Steval Pumas: Gerrit Smith, Jerome Pretorius, Hennie Skorbinski (captain), Ryan Nell, Ruwellyn Isbell, Justin van Staden, Stefan Ungerer, Carel Greeff, Nardus van der Walt, Francois Kleinhans, Hugo Kloppers (captain), Jeremy Jordaan, Pieter Scholtz, Mark Pretorius, Mona Kwezi. Replacements: Frank Herne, DJ Terblanche, Marne Coetzee, Jannie Stander, Lambert Groenewald, Reynier van Rooyen, Sias Ebersohn.<br> Xerox Golden Lions: Ashlon Davids, Madosh Tambwe, Stokkies Hanekom, Jarryd Sage, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Shaun Reynolds, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Ryan Kankowski (captain), Jano Venter, James Venter, Rhyno Herbst, Marvin Orie, Andrew Beerwinkel, Pieter Jansen, Sti Sithole. Replacements: Mike Willemse, Nico du Plessis, Bobby de Wee, Hacjivah Dayimani, Fabian Booysen, Bradley Thain, Jan-Louis la Grange.<br> <br> Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit<br> Kick-off: 14h30<br> TV: SS1<br> Referee: Stuart Berry<br> Assistant Referees: Ricus van der Hoven and Marnus Meiring<br> TMO: Willie Vos<br> <br><br> 2017-07-20 TEST TICKET SCAM WARNING South Africa (Springboks) vs Australia (Wallabies) Rugby 2017 test ticket online scam warning.<br><br> Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd would also like to communicate an important advisory regarding South Africa vs Australia Rugby 2017 Test Match Tickets:<br> <br> It has come to our attention that there are online scams doing their rounds selling invalid fake test rugby tickets for the Springboks vs Wallabies Rugby test taking place in Bloemfontein on 30 September 2017..<br> <br> The public is warned very strongly against buying from any resellers offering tickets for the South Africa vs Australia rugby test at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein (30 Sept 2017).<br> <br> Please be careful!!! Make sure that you buy your online test rugby tickets only through the Toyota Stadium ticket office or online via our official ticket mobile app or the official Cheetah website<br> <br> No entry will be permitted to any person presenting false Test Match tickets. Fans are cautioned against purchasing tickets through unauthorised online re-sellers many of these tickets are fraudulent and will not be accepted.<br> <br> The Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from the purchase of unauthorised tickets. <br> <br> To avoid disappointment, special caution should be used with secondary ticket platforms such as or thats selling such illegal test rugby tickets, the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd does not have any agreement in place allowing Viagogo, and or other online platforms to sell test tickets for the Springboks vs Wallabies test 2017 match.<br> <br> Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd have already received reports of duplicate tickets being made available by resellers.<br><br> 2017-07-20 U18 Youth Weeks <br> A handful of teams in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Coca-Cola Academy Week on Wednesday ensured that they have a chance to stake a claim for a place in the final match of the respective tournaments on Saturday as they remained unbeaten in their penultimate matches at St Stithians College.<br><br> <br> The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions, DHL Western Province, Free State and the Limpopo Blue Bulls finished their second round of matches unbeaten in their respective group in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week; and DHL Western Province, Eastern Province CD and GWK Griquas respectively in the Coca-Cola Academy Week.<br> The hosts played to a 13-13 draw against DHL Western Province, who took top honours at the tournament last season, in a thrilling finish to the dayandrsquo;s play, while Free State beat the Pumas 63-41 and the Limpopo Blue Bulls outplayed Border 59-41 in a fantastic dayandrsquo;s action.<br><br> <br> In the Coca-Cola Academy Week, meanwhile, DHL Western Province defeated the Sharks 50-36, while Eastern Province CD beat the Valke 34-27 and GWK Griquas registered a 34-19 win against Sharks CD to retain their unbeaten status.<br> The remaining 10 teams in the flagship tournament and 12 teams in the Coca-Cola Academy Week will take to the field on Thursday in the penultimate round of matches.<br> U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week<br> The clash between DHL Western Province and Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions was epic as both sides showed pure determination on attack and defence, which resulted in a tight tussle from the outset.<br> The Cape side struck first in the opening minute of the clash as Angelo Davids scored in the corner and that proved to be the only points in the first half, as the home team struggled to use their chances and lost several lineout balls.<br><br> <br> DHL WP touched down again in the opening exchanges of the second half, through Thaakir Abrahams, but the hosts forced their way back into the clash with two well-worked but unconverted tries by David Cary and Tino Swanepoel to level the scores at 10-10. Kennedy Mpeku for the home team and Quan Eymann for the Capetonians traded penalty goals which saw them tied at 13-13 in the dying minutes, and with neither team able to add to their score, this proved to be the end result. <br> The clash between Free State and the Pumas was gripping as the Bloemfontein side build up an encouraging 21-8 lead, but a yellow card in the 22nd minute paved the way for the Pumas to fight back strongly and close the gap 21-20 going into the break.<br> Free State retained possession and applied pressure on attack in the second half, while the Pumasandrsquo; balanced performance kept them in the game early in the third quarter. The Mpumalanga sideandrsquo;s efforts, however, were not enough to stop the Free State from making their presence felt and they increased their try tally to nine, while they limited the Pumas to six for the 63-41.<br> The third day of the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week got off to an exciting start as the Tshepa Trading Griffons ran circles around Border CD from start to end for an emphatic 80-5 victory. Such was their dominance, they were 53-0 up at the break, and then built on this in the second half to earn an impressive 14 tries. Three players in the Welkom side scored hat-tricks, namely Verlyn Van Vollenhoven, Truimp Boloyi and Andrew Kota, while Kota also slotted over four conversions for a personal.<br><br> <br> Boland made the most of GWK Griquas CDandrsquo;s mistakes in the first half to work their way to a 32-21 victory as they scored five tries to the oppositionandrsquo;s three. Boland ran in four tries in the first half and limited GWK Griquas CD to one for a 27-7 lead, and this laid the foundation for their victory, as they leaked two converted tries in the second half. This comeback, however, was too little too late.<br> A staggering 100 points and two hat-tricks were scored in the clash between the Limpopo Blue Bulls and Border as both teams ran hard on attack and took advantage of the porous defence. The strong Limpopo forwards stamped their authority up-front, which allowed the team to build up a 35-20 lead, and they increased their points tally to 59 points in the second half. Border centre Siphamandla Matsinya also made a good contribution to his teamandrsquo;s score as he scored three of their tries.<br> Coca-Cola Academy Week<br> DHL Western Province dominated their clash against the Sharks from the outset as their forwards and backs combined well to control proceedings. They earned the rewards early in the match as they led 26-3 at the break, and they continued to apply pressure in the second half to earn 50 points in the match. The Sharks fought back in the second half and managed to score 33 points, but this was not enough to cancel out the effective performance by the Western Cape side.<br> A dominant second-half showing by the Limpopo Blue Bulls allowed them to cruise to a comprehensive 64-17 victory against GWK Griquas CD. The first half was competitive as the Limpopo side took a 26-17 lead, but they tightened up their defence after the break and denied the GWK Griquas CD from adding to their score.<br> They backed this up with a solid attacking display to increase their try tally to 10 for the match, while flyhalf William Thulare and winger Moketla Mamabolo made a big contribution with two tries and seven conversions, and a hat-trick respectively.<br><br> <br> GWK Griquasandrsquo; ability to capitalise on their point-scoring chances in the second half combined with their solid defence also earned them 34-19 victory against Sharks CD. The teams were closely matched in the first half, with the Kimberley side taking a narrow 24-19 lead, and they continued to make their presence on attack as the game progressed, while they shut out the KwaZulu-Natal side on defence. This performance allowed them outscore the Sharks CD six tries to three for the win.<br> A strong start by Boland, meanwhile, set them up for a 28-15 victory against the Tshepa Trading Griffons, as they ran in three first-half tries to a converted try and penalty goal by the Welkom side for a 23-10 lead. In a tight second half, each side was only able to score a try, but this was enough for the Western Cape team to seal the victory.<br> SWD broke away in the second half of their clash against Eastern Province to score seven tries to five by the opposition. The George side took a 24-17 lead, and continued to make their presence felt in the second half, with No 8 Hannes Gous scoring a brace for his team, which steered them to victory.<br> Eastern Province CD delivered a firm performance against the Valke in a competitive match in which they scored six tries to five by the Kempton Park side for their 34-27 victory. The sides were closely matched on attack and defence, but the Eastern Cape sideandrsquo;s ability to make the most of their point-scoring chances sealed the victory for them.<br> The second-last round of matches at the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Coca-Cola Academy Week will be contested on Thursday, with all the teams having Friday off to rest. The final round of matches will be played on Saturday.<br><br> <br> U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day three fixtures (Wednesday, 19 July):<br> Tshepa Trading Griffons 80-5 Border CD<br> Boland 32-21 GWK Griquas CD<br> Border 41-59 Limpopo Blue Bulls<br> Free State 63-41 Pumas<br> Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions 13-13 DHL Western Province<br><br> <br> Coca-Cola Academy Week day three fixtures (Wednesday, 19 July):<br> Limpopo Blue Bulls 64-17-XX GWK Griquas CD<br> GWK Griquas 34-19 Sharks CD<br> Eastern Province 31-45 SWD<br> Eastern Province CD 34-27 Valke<br> DHL Western Province 50-36 Sharks<br> Boland 28-15 Tshepa Trading Griffons<br><br> <br> U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day three fixtures (Thursday, 20 July):<br> 09h00 andndash; Eastern Province CD v Old Mutual Zimbabwe<br> 10h35 andndash; GWK Griquas v Valke<br> 12h05 andndash; Blue Bulls v Eastern Province<br> 13h45 andndash; Namibia v Leopards<br> 15h30 andndash; Sharks v SWD<br><br> <br> Coca-Cola Academy Week day four fixtures (Thursday, 20 July):<br> 08h00 andndash; Tshepa Trading Griffons CD v Namibia<br> 09h20 andndash; Old Mutual Zimbabwe v Border CD<br> 10h40 andndash; Pumas CD v Leopards<br> 12h00 andndash; SA LSEN v Valke Platteland<br> 13h20 andndash; Border v Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions XV<br> 14h40 andndash; Free State v Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions<br> 16h00 andndash; Blue Bulls v Pumas<br> <br><br> 2017-07-20 Currie Cup ready to re-ignite deep-rooted passion <br> JD Schickerling and Roelof Smit catching eggs, SP Marais and JT Jackson making trick-shots and Rosko Specman and Ox Nche stumbling over their words are just some of the lighter moments rugby supporters will enjoy in a new series of Currie Cup videos which are going viral.<br> <br> With the Premier Division of South Africaandrsquo;s favourite domestic provincial competition, the Currie Cup, kicking off on Friday SA Rugby, in conjunction with the provinces and sponsors Direct Axis and Nashua, launched a digital campaign to promote the tournament.<br> <br> The series of videos, which will be used extensively on social media, includes players talking about their passion, but also doing trick shots with the ball and even catching eggs thrown at them.<br> <br> The Toyota Free State Cheetahs start the defence of their title against the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein on Friday evening, while two former champions, the Tafel Lager Griquas and Vodacom Blue Bulls, will front up on Saturday in Kimberley. The final first round match is on Sunday between the Steval Pumas and the Xerox Golden Lions in Nelspruit, as DHL Western Province start with a bye.<br> <br> Last year, more than 300 tries were scored in the Currie Cup as the top teams entertained and enthralled, and more of the same is expected this year andndash; and by the end of October, a host of questions will be answered.<br> <br> Can any teams replicate the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Xerox Golden Lionsandrsquo; perfect seasons from 2016 and 2015 respectively? Who will provide the biggest upset of the season? And what new stars will emerge in 2017?<br> <br> But while the rugby action will yet again be serious business for the seven teams playing for the famous gold trophy, one of the oldest in world rugby, players from these sides had some light-hearted fun in the build-up to the competition.<br> <br> The hashtag #wherelegendsrise will be used on various social media platforms, including the official Twitter account for the competition, @TheCurrieCup.<br><br> 2017-07-20 Mandela Day Toyota Cheetahs in conjunction with Caramellos Fleurdal, Baekemetseng Bomme Catering Hilton, Tyre Track Point-s Oranjesig, Premier FMCG Blue Ribbon Thaba-Nchu, Unilever joined hands in commemorating Mandela Day 2017 in a very special way. A long-term project to revamp a disadvantaged school ( Lerato Creche) in Phase 7 near Grootvlei Prison just outside of Bloemfontein, started with the refurbishing the school playground early today. Cheetahs Rugby players, members of the community, staff of the school, Management from Caramellos all took part in the activities of the day. The children enjoyed playing with the Cheetah Mascot, while the players took part in painting the playground.<br><br> The project enjoyed the following Sponsorships :<br> - Bread and sweets, compliments of Premier FMCG Blue Ribbon Thaba-Nchu<br> - Tyres, compliments of Tyre Track Point-S Oranjesig<br> - Paint and material, and educational charts compliments of Baekemtseng Bomme Catering and Caramellos Fleurdal<br> - Popsicles, compliments of Unilever.<br> <br><br> 2017-07-18 Toyota Free State Cheetahs face Sharks in first Currie Cup encounter <br><br> The Toyota Free State Cheetahs will be facing the Cell C Sharks in the first Currie Cup match of the season on Friday Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein. The game kicks off at 19:00 on 21 July 2017.<br><br> Free State Rugby announced late last week that the position of Director of Rugby and of Head Coach of the Cheetahs, in the persons of Rory Duncan and Franco Smith, have switched from Monday, 17 July 2017. Franco Smith is the new Director of Rugby and Rory Duncan the new head coach of the Toyota Cheetahs and Toyota Free State Cheetahs. <br> Coach Rory Duncan has announced his team for the encounter.<br><br> The referee for the game is Jadezweni Cwengile. He will be assisted by Jaco Pretorius and Jaco Kotze. The TMO is JJ Wagner. <br><br> The Toyota Cheetahs invites supporters to enjoy a fun-filled day at Toyota Stadium with a new braai facility with Sparta at the Castle Deck area and the enlarged family friendly alcohol-free area. Refentse will be providing entertainment on the Castle Deck after the match. <br><br> Ticket prices: Main Stand andndash; R50 for adults and R30 for kids. Open Stand andndash; R40 for adults and only R10 for kids and students.<br><br> Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Ticket office at Gate 8 (Att Horak Avenue) at Toyota Stadium. <br><br> <br><br> <br><br> <br><br> <br><br> <br><br> <br><br> <br><br> Toyota Cheetahs vs Cell C Sharks <br> Currie Cup <br> 21 July 2017, 19:00<br> Toyota Stadium<br><br> <br> 1. Charles Marais<br> 2. Joseph Dweba<br> 3. Aranos Coetzee<br> 4. Carl Wegner<br> 5. Reniel Hugo<br> 6. Neil Jordaan<br> 7. Uzair Cassiem<br> 8. Henco Venter<br> 9. Shaun Venter<br> 10. Niel Marais<br> 11. Raymond Rhule<br> 12. William Small-Smith<br> 13. Francois Venter<br> 14. Rosco Specman<br> 15. Clayton Blommetjies<br><br> 16. Ox Nche<br> 17. Reinach Venter<br> 18. Rynier Bernado<br> 19. Chris Dry<br> 20. Zee Mkhabela<br> 21. JW Jonker<br> 22. Cecil Afrika<br><br> 2017-07-18