Free State player, Rabz Ndiphiwe, says the love he gets from his family gives him the fire he needs to keep working harder as a player.
“The fun of having South African derbies week in and week out,” is what makes the Currie Cup special for Toyota Free State Cheetahs’ winger Sibahle ‘Rabz’ Maxwane.
And competing against the best rugby talent in the country.
“The experience I will have after the competition, as I will have played against different defenders and exciting attack, which I will definitely add to my game,” is what Rabz is looking to take from this year’s tournament.
It’s this thoughtful approach to the game that differentiates the 23-year-old.
“I think the mental work in this sport weights more than the physical. To go further you need to be persistent and take on whatever comes your way.”
It’s what Toyota Free State Cheetahs’ fans will be expecting - as well as a few tries, of course.
The Bloemfontein-based Toyota Free State Cheetahs have won the Currie Cup five times. Known as the darlings of South Africa, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs experienced their most successful Currie Cup period during 2005 to 2007 when the side won the title for three consecutive years – sharing the 2006 title with the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
The Toyota Free State Cheetahs advanced to the Currie Cup final for the first time in 1973. However, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs’ faithful had to wait three years before the union lifted their first ever Currie Cup trophy in 1976. It was an impressive victory as the side defeated the mighty DHL Western Province team 33-16 in the final in Bloemfontein. The Toyota Free State Cheetahs have been runners-up on nine occasions and the last time they claimed the title was in 2016 with a 36-16 win over the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
The Toyota Cheetahs are one of two South African sides participating in the PRO14 competition in Europe, and their experience in the northern hemisphere showpiece could prove to be vital in their quest for Currie Cup title number 6. The Toyota Free State Cheetahs, considered one the smaller unions in South Africa, always punch above their weight and in Europe it was no different as they managed to secure a play-off spot in their debut PRO14 season in 2017/2018.