The Steinhoff Helderberg residence in Stellenbosch had to wait 16 years before winning the coveted Sauer Cup in 2016, but on Wednesday evening the team representing FNB Maties this year got a clear introduction of what can be expected in the 2017 Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Championship.
A formal capping ceremony was held for the team in front of the whole residence, or as it is known on campus, Die Republiek van Helderberg, while former Blitzbok captain, Kyle Brown, was also in attendance to give the Stellenbosch champions some extra motivation ahead of their opening round fixture against Steinhoff Patria on Monday afternoon. It will be the curtain-raiser for the match between FNB Maties and FNB Pukke.
The side from Helderberg made a late surge in last year’s Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby competition in Stellenbosch to ultimately qualify for the semi-final before booking their place in the final, where they beat Steinhoff Huis Marais to lift the Sauer trophy in front of their passionate housemates.
The residence was full of spirit as the jerseys were handed over to the 23 men that will take the field on Monday. Every name announced was greeted by loud cheers and sometimes songs. Steinhoff Helderberg’s coach Mynard Scholts described the upcoming tournament as “a great opportunity for the team to show the rest of the country what they are capable off”.
“Last year was a very special year for us as a team and as a residence and we would like to continue that form in the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Champs this year,” said Scholtz.
Steinhoff Helderberg unfortunately lost the services of Manus Bester, who captained them to glory last year as he graduated from the university in December, but Bester was still on hand to give a speech to the side, who will be captained by Johan Lamprecht this year. In his speech Bester emphasised the importance of giving it your all and having fun at the same time.
“There will be nothing better than competing against the other ‘koshuise’ around the country and showing them what the Swarras (Steinhoff Helderberg’s nickname) are made off,” said Bester.
Kyle Brown concluded the evening by speaking about the importance of enjoying your rugby and having a life outside rugby. “Rugby is a great part of one’s life but it is not the only part. The friendships and memories are what is important, especially in a competition like this,” concluded the Blitzbok.
By Andre Huisamen