The 2023 Varsity Cup left much to be desired for the fans of UP-Tuks rugby. It is no secret that the stripe generation were holding thumbs and toes for the possibility of a third Varsity Cup title. However, misfortune struck and three times was not the charm for our boys, who were unable to defend their title or even perform well enough to avoid the dreaded relegation to Varsity Shield. It is now 2024 and one question is on the minds of the fans and most definitely the squad themselves: will this be our shot at redemption?

There is something to be said about the sting of being at the top of the world and having that feeling ripped away. Every post or comment surrounding UP-Tuks’ performance in 2023 emphasised their downfall and coupled it with their previous position as the champs. Now, our beloved UP-Tuks find themselves at a crossroads. Do they let the burn of the loss devour them until they are nothing but ash – or do they let it coax a fervour that will set them ablaze?

It is with confidence that one can say the boys will be fighting tooth and nail to win the Varsity Shield and be promoted to Varsity Cup for 2025. However, they are one of eight teams that are incredibly hungry to take it to the next level. Thus, it will take all they have and a little more to prove themselves worthy of promotion – not just in the tournament scope but to the fans as well. 

The saying goes, “Once you have hit the bottom, the only place to go is up.” While UP-Tuks is not sub-zero, Varsity Shield is still a high-tier rugby tournament, and they have a mountain ahead of them. What they definitely need is the UP fans behind them. So, tune in to Varsity Shield, which runs from 22 February to 26 April, and back the boys. They will be on our home field soon and redeem themselves as they should. 

This comeback is for the fans, for themselves and for the plot (because 2024 is all about the plot). And the plot is redemption.

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