Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Former captain challenges team to fight for Varsity Cup promotion

TRIUMPH: The former CPUT men’s rugby team captain, Butsha Mputa receives a certificate from Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo. TRIUMPH: The former CPUT men’s rugby team captain, Butsha Mputa receives a certificate from Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo.

The outgoing CPUT men’s rugby team captain, Butsha Mputa made an emotional tribute to his teammates at the team’s awards, which were held recently at the Granger Bay Campus.

Butsha joined the team in 2016 and started as a benchwarmer but he fought his way up to the starting line-up in June of that year. Since then the diminutive flank made the number six jersey his own. Butsha said one thing that stood out for him during the Varsity Shield tournament was the bond and support “we give each other as the CPUT family”.

“Throughout the tournament I had been getting messages from the Dean and Vice Chancellor , two individuals that have the most  hectic schedules in the Institution but one message in particular stood out for me: when we were playing TUT  early in the morning I got a message from the dean of students and  I quote ‘My captain today I give you and the team permission to make mincemeat out of TUT. It is this message that made me believe that the bond and trust that we share as the CPUT family is truly something special’”.

He said the CPUT journey had been a blessing to him and it is something that he will always hold dear to his heart. “I dedicated my time at CPUT to leave the number 6 jersey at a better place as it was so fitting that my journey had to end this way. To the exiting students well done boys on your incredible journey your blood, sweat, and tears has not gone unnoticed what you have done for this Institution will be spoken about in years to come.”

Reflecting  on the final game which they played against WSU, Butsha said: “It’s the 79th minute in the final the scores are tied, I make a try saving tackle and I try and win possession for the team.  However, the referee awards a penalty to WSU. I straight away go to one of my closest friends Lunathi [Nxele]. I ask him: ‘Is this how our journey ends at CPUT’, Lunathi says: ‘no ways’ WSU kicks and they miss the penalty, fast forward into extra time when there were two minutes left, WSU was leading us by three points. I began to lose a bit of hope but for a moment I thought about all the people back at home supporting us at the edge of their seats and I was like the is no way we are losing this game and at the end we won the final”.

In his closing remarks, Butsha had few words for the next generation of players. “To the boys that will be playing next year and years to come, it has been a pleasure playing alongside of you, make a name for yourself and wear the CPUT jersey with pride and honour and most importantly leave the jersey at a better place, it’s up to you guys to take us to Varsity Cup.”Players who have played their last season due to age or completing their studies in 2021 received gifts which were handed over by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo and Dean of Student Affairs, Prem Coopoo. Meanwhile other players won individual awards with prizes.

Forward Player of the year 2021 trophy went to Butsha and Ameer Hendricks. Backline Player of the Year, Lunathi Nxele. Young Player of the Year, Matthew Coenraad. Most Spirited Player Award went to Lucien Phillips and Siyasanga Ngubelanga.  Top Point Scorer, Imibongo Vabaza. Top Try Scorer went to Butsha.

Try of the Year Award went to Nathan Nkutu.  Lunathi also won the Player’s Player of the Year.  Coach’s Player of the Year was won by Ameer.  Meanwhile Phumlani Mkhaliphi walked away with the Loyalty Award. Overall Player of the Year was Nathan. 

Written by Des