A tall figure sits on a chair in a coffee shop at the Fanie du Toit Sports Ground. With his long curly hair tied back in a bun, he greets with a clean smile and a firm handshake. He describes himself as a normal guy who plays guitar for relaxation and someone who takes it day by day. But on Monday nights there is nothing normal about Marno, as he walks out under those stadium lights and leads 22 other men in their pursuit to retain the Varsity Cup title.
The eighth man for FNB NWU-Pukke, Marno Redelinghuys, is calm and collected as he is took over the reins from an injured captain Jeandré Rudolph, on Monday night as they faced the FNB Ikeys in Potchefstroom.
“I’m very honoured to be the captain of the FNB NWU-Pukke side as it will be my first time ever,” said Redelinghuys shortly before he helped his side to a 20-15 victory in his first match at the helm.
Growing up in Klerksdorp he went from head boy in primary school to head honcho on the rugby field at university level.
With regards to Redelinghuys’ rugby career highlight, it was most definitely not only one of his favourites, but also a defining moment for the FNB NWU-Pukke as a university.
“The highlight of my rugby career thus far was when I scored the winning try for my side to claim the Varsity Cup trophy in 2016 for the first time ever,” said Redelinghuys.
“I can remember everything precisely. As I went over the tryline, I just began to scream. I don’t know why, but I just did. Later on, it felt as if I couldn’t breathe properly as if I wanted to cry. It was just mixed emotions, but a very special moment which I will treasure for a very long time,” Redelinghuys added.
The moment was a far cry from one the rugby memories Redelinghuys would rather forget, back when he played some “bulletjie rugby” as a young boy.
“I’ll never forget when I was little, I was running to the tryline to go score. Just before I had to put the ball down, I decided to go back to my own team’s tryline to go score a try,” said Redelinghuys, shaking his head and chuckling.
There is no doubt that Redelinghuys now knows which way to move the ball. He recently joined the larger Stormers training squad in the Western Cape, in hopes of receiving a call-up for the Super Rugby campaign.
In the meantime, this talented player can be seen in action on Monday evenings in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International as he is still on the run to complete his BComm degree at the North-West University, and retain the Varsity Cup title.
By Raynique Meyer