Cheetahs crowned Currie Cup champions

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  • Post published:June 25, 2023

Cheetahs were crowned Currie Cup champions after they defeated the Puma 25-17 in the final at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Centre Reinhardt Fortuin, Cohen Jasper, and Rewan Kruger all scored tries, and fly-half Ruan Pienaar, who is 39 years old, added two conversions and two penalties to help the winners win.

“I was sure we would win only in the final minute. Pumas pushed us all the way and we made it difficult for ourselves sometimes,” said former Springbok Pienaar.

Centre Ali Mgijima scored a try for the 2022 champions Pumas, and fly-half Tinus de Beer kicked four penalties in front of 34,000 people in Bloemfontein, the central city.

Seven times winners of the Currie Cup After taking an early three-point lead, the Cheetahs never fell behind. They led 18-11 at halftime and were the better team in a low-scoring second half.

Ross van Reenen, the CEO of the Cheetahs, told the newspaper Rapport that the team has been having financial problems, especially in the European Challenge Cup, where they lost in the round of 16.

The Bloemfontein team was allowed to play as long as they played their home games in Europe. The South African team chose the city of Parma, which is in Italy.

“We spent millions of rand hiring facilities, accommodation, meals and laundry, the weather was freezing and wet, and no one in our group could speak fluent Italian,” said Van Reenen.

“The language barrier was significant as it prevented us engaging with the locals much of the time. To cut costs we washed kit only every second day.”

Photo by Charle Lombard/BackpagePix