The Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mrs. N.S. Leeto would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Toyota Free State Cheetahs for winning the Nashua Currie Cup Final following their 36 – 16 victory over the Blue Bulls over the past weekend. The team dominated all aspects of the final match, and converted almost every opportunity into points to ultimately be crowned the 2016 Currie Cup champions.
The Free State Cheetahs have won all 8 of the round robin matches and have earned a 4 try bonus point in 7 of the 8 round robin matches – the only match where they did not score 4 tries or more was against the Western Province in Cape Town. To this, they have added the semi-final victory of 55-17 over the Lions and the final victory over the Blue Bulls, making the 2016 season a 10 out of 10 season.
Due to the team’s performance, the team as a collective is one of the nominees for team of the year and individual players like Ox Nche and Nico Lee are also nominated as players of the tournament.
Free State Cheetahs’ performance also ensured that captain Francois Venter, winger Sergeal Peterson and flanker Oupa Mohoje were named in the Springbok squad to tour Europe in November. In addition, Cheetahs flanker Usair Caseem has also been named in the Springbok squad to play the Barbarians in a non-official test match.
The Free State Cheetahs has won the title in 1976, 2005, 2006 (Shared with the Blue Bulls), 2007 and now 2016. The Free State Cheetahs has secured several records in their victory, which are as follows:
Most converted penalties in a final (7 by Niel Marais)
Second largest winning margin in history
Coach Franco Smith the only coach to have secured a Varsity Cup title as well as a Currie Cup title.
Coach Franco Smith winning the title as player (playing for the Blue Bulls), as assistant coach (Cheetahs) and as head coach.
Congratulating the Free State Cheetahs MEC Leeto said, “The department is responsible for the conditioning of the team at the FSSSI and our support for the Free State Cheetahs as a department continues to yield positive results. The department also supports the team financially each year. We are proud to once again be associated with champions. We urge all our people to show their unwavering support for the Free State Cheetahs as the team will, after a short rest, start preparations for the Super Rugby tournament starting in February 2017.”
Source: Government of South Africa.