Pretoria - Free State took their second major national rugby title of the season and the day when they won the national Under-21 competition 32-25 against the Sharks after extra-time at Loftus on Saturday.
With the scores locked at 18-all at full-time the two sides had to battle it out in the second half - and, as in the Under-19 final, it seemed as if the fitness of the young Cheetahs was superior to that of their opponents.
In a match of fluctuating fortunes, the two sides were well-matched and despite some endeavour to run from both sides the outstanding defences prevailed.
The winners scored three tries to two.
Two tries in extra time by the Free State to the one scored by the Sharks - coming three minutes from time - saw the Bloemfontein side win out in the end.
Tries: Alec Mhlanga, Hofman Maritz, Ruan Jacobs, Wayne Stevens
Conversions: George Whitehead (3)
Drop goal: Sias Ebersohn
Tries: Mark Richards, Anton Bresler, Sabela Nhlapo
Conversions: Patrick Lambie (2)
Drop goal: Guy Cronje