Director of sport Yoliswa Lumka and rugby manager Ntsikelelo Ngcakana have congratulated the FNB Madibaz team after they received promotion to the top-flight Varsity Cup for the 2021 season.
The decision was made after the Varsity Cup board met to finalise the 2020 competitions, which were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nelson Mandela University outfit moved up because they had an unassailable lead on the log over the past two Shield seasons.
The competition rules state that the side with the most log points from the 2019 and 2020 Shield competitions will receive automatic promotion.
Lumka said she was “extremely excited” that Madibaz were officially back in the Varsity Cup.
“It is unfortunate that we could not finish the season and get that outright winning feeling, but we are happy that this has now been finalised,” she said.
“None of this would have happened without the supportive team – which includes our coaches, managers and student assistants – that we have internally at Madibaz Sport.”
She acknowledged that a lot of work lay ahead for the varsity and the rugby club.
“The club and the university as a whole are ecstatic that we have made it to this point again after almost three years of planning. But we know there is still a lot more to be done to ensure we remain in the top tier of the competition.”
Ngcakana underlined the input of the players and the coaching staff in achieving their goals.
“It is an opportune moment to thank all those involved who have made this such a successful campaign,” he said.
“To coach Jarryd Buys and his management staff and to all the players – well done. We will celebrate in true Madibaz style after this dark cloud is over.”
Madibaz will be part of a 10-team Varsity Cup next year as no Cup team will be relegated from 2020. The competitions will also be moving to a format of eight Cup and eight Shield teams respectively in 2022.
This means that at the end of the 2021 season the bottom two teams in the Varsity Cup competition will be automatically relegated to the Shield.