Mafura joins exclusive list of players with Currie Cup medals for different clubs

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Tapiwa Mafura (right) lifts the Currie Cup trophy with a teammate after the Cheetahs' victory against Pumas on Saturday

Harare – Zimbabwe rugby international Tapiwa Mafura made history by joining an exclusive list of players to have won back to back Currie Cup winners medals with different clubs after playing an important role in the Cheetahs 25-17 home win over Pumas in the 2023 Currie Cup final on Saturday.

The 26-year-old lightning-quick won the 2022 Currie Cup title last season with the Pumas after their 26-19 win in last year’s final against Griquas in Kimberley.

After his success with the Pumas, Mafura retraced his roots back to Bloemfontein by agreeing to a move to re-join the Toyota Cheetahs towards the end of last season.

Mafura was part of the Toyota Cheetahs squad in 2019 when the Cheetahs won the Currie Cup but was not in action for them in the semi-finals or the final.

Tapiwa Mafura was part of the Pumas’ Currie Cup winning team last year

After being on the fringes of the first squad during his first spell Mafura played a prominent role for his side during their Currie Cup success this season to follow up on another impressive campaign with the Pumas last year.

In fact the Sables star was in good form on Saturday, as the Cheetahs produced a professional and clinical display to reclaim the Currie Cup trophy with a 25-17 win over the Pumas.

The South African rugby website rugby365.com gave Mafura a 7/10 in the player ratings from the final.

Tapiwa Mafura (was) involved in a lot of the attack and playmaking – with a match-high seven carries for 70-odd metres. Often tested the defence,” rugby365.com’s Jan de Koning wrote.

Centre Reinhardt Fortuin, wing Cohen Jasper and scrum-half Rewan Kruger scored a try each and 39-year-old fly-half Ruan Pienaar kicked two conversions and two penalties for the winners.

Centre Ali Mgijima scored a try for 2022 champions Pumas and fly-half Tinus de Beer slotted four penalties before a 34,000 crowd in the central city of Bloemfontein.

Seven-time Currie Cup winners Cheetahs never trailed after taking an early three-point lead, were 18-11 ahead at half-time, and the stronger side in a low-scoring second half.

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