Kovsie pride in Green and Gold

2018-06-20 06:01
Prof. Francis Petersen, rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State (centre), with four former Kovsies now in the Springbok squad. From the left are Jacques Nienaber, Oupa Mohoje, Petersen, Rassie Erasmus (head coach) and Swys de Bruin. Absent: Vivian Verwant.Photo: Sonia Small

Prof. Francis Petersen, rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State (centre), with four former Kovsies now in the Springbok squad. From the left are Jacques Nienaber, Oupa Mohoje, Petersen, Rassie Erasmus (head coach) and Swys de Bruin. Absent: Vivian Verwant.Photo: Sonia Small

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The second rugby match in the test series between South Africa and England took place on Saturday (16/06). The Springboks defeated England by 23 – 12.

Played in the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein, this game was a celebration of the talent produced by the University of the Free State (UFS).

Old members of the institution’s Kovsies Sport were in abundance in the management team and on the field.

Four of the management team, including three of the five coaches, previously studied at the UFS.

Kovsie stars include the head coach, Rassie Erasmus, defence coach, Jacques Nienaber, consultant for attacking play, Swys de Bruin, and physiotherapist, Vivian Verwant.

Nienaber is also a qualified physiotherapist who started his career with the Shimlas before advancing to coaching. Erasmus and De Bruin both donned the blue jersey.

The other Kovsie pair in the fringe of the senior men’s team include loose forward Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (27) and Retshegofaditswe “Ox” Nche (22), though neither of them featured in the game against England.

Although Mohoje is still part of the training squad, Nche was released from the squad.

Nche became the 76th Kovsie player to make his way into the Springbok team in the match against Wales on 2 June. Wales won by 22 – 20.

Taking pride in the UFS’s contribution towards the Springboks, rector and vice-chancellor Prof. Francis Petersen paid a special visit to the Springboks at their hotel in Bloemfontein on the eve of the second test against England to wish them good luck.

He visited them with the sole purpose of wishing Erasmus and his team good luck.

Petersen told the team that the entire Kovsie community is behind them and emphasised the importance of playing well and making the country proud – not only against England, but in all future matches.

Erasmus, who studied at the UFS in the early 1990s, expressed joy at Petersen’s gesture.

“We trained at Shimla Park with all its good memories, and we really enjoyed the facilities. We are proud former Kovsies, with quite a few of us here,” Erasmus said.

On Saturday, the English rugby team, whose emblem is a red rose, showed signs of wanting to blossom in the City of Roses.

Their early lead of 12 – 0 kept the Springboks on their toes.

The South African side, however, fought back gallantly to win the test by 23 – 12.

The English team was led by Eddie Jones, former coach of the Australian rugby union. Encouragement by Petersen proved inspiring for the Erasmus-led men, who fought back

  • Their performance earned the Springboks their second successive win, after winning the first test match at Ellis Park by 42 – 39 on having won the first Test match 42-39 played at Ellis Park on 9 June.

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