Steinhoff Harlequins will represent NMMU-Madibaz in the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby competition for the second year in a row after defeating Steinhoff Pointers 19-0 in the final at the South Campus on Friday.
The competition will be played simultaneously with the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International tournament in February and March next year.
Steinhoff Quins and Steinhoff Pointers qualified for the final after surviving strong challenges from Steinhoff Northerns and Steinhoff Rangers in the semi-finals. Steinhoff Quins defeated Steinhoff Northerns 15-10, while Steinhoff Pointers outlasted Steinhoff Rangers 18-10.
Madibaz Koshuis league co-ordinator Schalk Rossouw said it had been another “tight competition”.
“We had a total of 10 teams playing on Fridays in the league portion of the competition, which ran from April to August. There was a lot of interest in the league, plenty of support from the spectators and matches were played no matter how bad the weather was.”
Rossouw added that he had received positive feedback from players and officials, which suggested this year’s Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby league had been “a big success”.
Steinhoff Harlequins coach Chris Kelly was delighted with their efforts and said they were looking forward to competing in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International’s Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby league next year.
However, he said they would be looking at recruiting some new players as they would be losing some of the older team members.
“We don’t always manage to keep the same team because when it comes to the Varsity Cup you have to be a student and you have to have enough academic points to be eligible,” said Kelly.
“Several players will be finishing this year, including captain Nathie Botha, who has been one of the standout players for the team. But we will still have some of the younger guys and thus should continue to have a good side if the guys pitch up and put their hands up.”
Kelly added that Madibaz FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International head coach David Maidza had pointed out to him that the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby league was a stepping stone to higher honours.
“He said you go from the Koshuis league to Varsity Cup, and then from Varsity Cup to the professional ranks. So this is where it all basically starts and I got that across to the guys in our planning. I said if you want to make something from rugby this is where you start.
“It’s also about having fun and we want the players to enjoy themselves, but if you work hard, this is where it all starts.”
He said Steinhoff Harlequins did not represent a specific residence, but was made up of like-minded players who were interested in forming a team.
“There are some res teams, but not enough for a league, so other teams are created by those who are interested in playing for fun. For instance, one of the teams, Rangers, never practised. They were there for the fun, just rocked up and played and made it to the semi-finals.”
By Coetzee Gouws