Exciting playoffs in the Kovsie region’s Shimla-liga

This is an exciting part of the season in the Free State-Griffons-Griquas Central region as a result of a cup being up for grabs. The Kovsie region competition’s Shimla-Liga for medium schools has produced some tightly contested playoff outcomes. There was a total point difference of just 14 during the 3 regional playoff matches.

Sentraal make history
Sentraal generally come under the spotlight early on during the season due to their annual interschools derby against Waterkloof. Well now they are very much the centre of attention during August as they have made history by claiming their very first ever FREE STATE region title. They achieved this via a 31-28 narrow victory against fellow Bloemfontein school Jim Fouché.

It isn’t the end of the road for Jim Fouché. As the second placed Bloem team this season, they get a second bit at the apple, and although they will have to travel to Welkom to meet Gim in their semi, some might regard it as an easier assignment than Sentraal’s against Diamantveld in Kimberley.

Welkom Gim first for the town since 1998
Welkom Gim was a school rugby interest item at the start of the season but this was a lot more to do with the Virginia Sports Academy player drain which impacted negatively on Hentie Cilliers and saw a Welkom Gim benefit from new arrivals. It’s worked out well for them. Gimmies have had a really good season. By toppling AHS Kroonstad (Rooiskool) 20-15 in the Griffons final, Gim became the first Welkom school 1st XV to be crowned Griffons (Northern Free State) champions since 1998.

Diamantveld ensures a new winner for the first time in 7 years
One of the biggest rivalries in SA plays out in Kimberley each year. Diamantveld who got a main headline at the start of the season thanks to their sensational come from behind 34-34 draw against Grey College, continued on the path to making this a season to remember when they beat a fairly strong Kynoch Noord-Kaap 16-10 to knock Northerns out of the Kovsie region competition’s Shimla league for medium schools and thereby ensure that whoever now goes on to win the title would would not have done so since 2008. Noord-Kaap has dominated the competition from 2009-2014.

Diamantveld vs Sentraal in Kimberley
Welkom Gim vs Jim Fouché in Welkom


  1. Shimla-league semi-finals: Welkom Gimnasium 66 Jim Fouche 19 – and game stopped 14 minutes short of full time.

  2. The remark about the “Virginia Sports Academy player drain” refers.

    Virginia Sports Academy, being funded by Harmony, terminated their relationship with Hentie Cilliers in November 2014 and identified two other high schools in the Free State Goldfields who would in future benefit from the resources of Virginia Sports Academy. (Gim was not one of the two schools.)

    Gim thus had nothing to do with that process but was willing to accommodate a number of disgruntled boys who did not want to go to either of the two nominated schools and who applied to be accepted as learners at Welkom Gimnasium. A Gim-benefactor paid the hostel fees and contributed to living costs of these boys.

    The first team of Gim was however in any case destined to be very competitive in 2015 as nine members of the current first team were (then as under seventeens) already regular members of the first team in 2014.

    Six of the boys previously involved with Virginia Sports Academy, this year played for the first team of Welkom Gimnasium.

    With the blessing and support of Virginia Sports Academy the same number boys played for the first team of another well known local high school and I understand that a third local school also benefited from being allocated boys contracted by Virginia Sports School.

    In the local community a lot of half truths or simply lies were spread about what happened and are the mischievous amongst them eager to tell that the Gim rugby team is nothing else than Hentie Ciliers and/or Virginia Sports Academy players in black rugby jerseys.

    That is simply not true.

  3. Dis nie Diamantveld se eerste sedert 2009 nie. Hulle het verlede jaar ook gewen.


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