Lily Thomas’ quote “The road to success is always under construction” is one that would resonate with and fall on good Rhodes University student’s ears, minds and hearts as they gear up for the 2019 edition of FNB Varsity Shield.
After Rhodes University’s less memorable season from 2019 drew to a winless close, with six losses in six games, the team will hope to carry greater momentum forward into the new season and might also seek to surprise many.
The squad selected for this year’s tournament will see many enthusiastic rugby players with decorated pasts in schoolboy rugby seek to be leaders in the team that can move the side up the log this season, into somewhat of a greater finish.
FNB Rhodes managed to beat the University of Zululand 44-5 in Grahamstown at the Great Field, to avoid Varsity Shield relegation, earning them a fresh chance with their new-look team to go into the season, ready to make amends in what they believe can be a greater season.
FNB Rhodes’ first game of the Varsity Shield Season sees them being hosted by FNB UKZN at the Howard College Rugby Stadium, kicking off their respective round one at 18h30, before playing the University of Fort Hare in round two, on the 21st of February just three days later, at 16h45.
FNB Rhodes’ stern clash of the season midway will see the team being hosted by the newly relegated FNB Madibaz in Port Elizabeth at 18h30.
Makhanda/Grahamstown will then be the hosting city for FNB Rhodes’ first home game, hosting Walter Sisulu University at 18h30 on the 4th of March, and both teams will have much to prove – FNB WSU to show why they deserved to have finished first and not second last season, and FNB Rhodes, to climb their way ambitiously to the top of the table to alleviate worries of both another relegation battle, and potential hopes for Varsity Cup action, or at least a better finish in the top half.
FNB Rhodes then take on Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria at FNB TUT Stadium on the 11th of March, before rounding off the season in Round Six, back at home at the Mighty Great Field, hosting Cape Peninsula University of Technology at 18h30 on the 18th of March.
Making the top four for FNB Rhodes will require them to register at least three or four wins, consistency and grit, of which the team has the deep capability to be able to achieve and bring to fruition. The big step forward now is being waited on as FNB Rhodes prepare to go into the season with the right spirit and attitude, to make the most of the season, and to make the people and University they are representing, proud!