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The Toyota Cheetahs and Boland Kavaliers were crowned the kings of South African provincial rugby on Saturday, claiming the Currie Cup Premier and First Division titles in two epic finals in Bloemfontein and Wellington.

The Toyota Cheetahs won the Premier Division title for the first time since 2019 when they dethroned 2022 champions, the Airlink Pumas, with a 25-17 victory in a brilliant final at the Toyota Stadium in the Free State capital.

Earlier on Saturday, the Boland Kavaliers tasted First Division success for the first time since 2011 when they beat the newly-crowned Mzansi Challenge champions, the Valke, by 43-21.

Currie Cup goes orange once again

For the sixth time in the past 18 years (and seventh overall) the Currie Cup was orange-flavoured as the Toyota Cheetahs set off ecstatic celebrations in Bloemfontein with a measured 25-17 (halftime 18-11) final victory over the Airlink Pumas.

The Toyota Cheetahs deserved their title and although the magnificent Airlink Pumas once again demonstrated their intensity and resilience, Hawies Fourie’s team always had the answers and never seemed to be taken entirely out of their comfort zone.

It was close throughout however and had the entranced Toyota Stadium crowd of 33 804 often on the edge of its proverbial seat, but there was to be no repeat of the defending champions’ eyebrow-raising 61-21 victory at this same ground in March.

Instead, the power of the Toyota Cheetahs pack at the set phase, the steady boot and direction of veteran flyhalf Ruan Pienaar, and hungry defence in front of their own fans saw them deliver a champion’s performance.


Toyota Cheetahs 25 (18) – Tries: Reinhardt Fortuin, Cohen Jasper, Rewan Kruger. Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (2). Penalty goals: Pienaar (2).

Airlink Pumas 17 (11) – Try: Ali Mgijima. Penalty goals: De Beer (4).

Boland Kavaliers crowned First Division champions

Fullback Cameron Hufke scored a hat-trick of tries as the Boland Kavaliers clipped the high-flying Valke’s wings in Saturday’s Currie Cup First Division Final in Wellington, claiming a 43-21 win to secure the silverware for the first time since 2011.

Starting fast and defending heroically, the hosts outscored the newly-crowned Mzansi Challenge champions by five tries to three to deny them a historic double and soar to First Division glory, taking the title for the first time in 12 years after they beat Eastern Province in Wellington.

Franzel September’s side came out firing and spread the ball early, finding plenty of space and holes in the visitors’ defence in perfect conditions to race into a 15-0 lead. They were more clinical early on, bossed the breakdown, dominated at scrum time and put in some massive hits on defence.

The Valke, though, didn’t lay down and while Boland kept the scoreboard ticking, they were reduced to 14 men for reaped infringements in the dying moments of the first half, which saw the visitors score a second try to trail 28-14 at the break.

In the end, the East Randers threw everything at the hosts, whose collective defensive display was simply superb. Hufke’s hat-trick try, somewhat against the run of play, proved to be a crushing blow and the fullback capped off a phenomenal performance with a late long-range penalty goal as the Kavaliers were crowned champions.


Boland Kavaliers 43 (28) – Tries: Cameron Hufke (3), Keenan Opperman, Bentley Geldenhuys. Conversions: Darian Hock (3). Penalty goals: Hock (3), Hufke.

Valke 21 (14) – Tries: Musa Tshabalala, Easton Arendse, Cohen Kiewit. Conversions: Keagan Fortune (3).

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