Wanderers, Namibia’s representatives at this year’s inaugural edition of the annual South African Provincial Gold Cup Club Rugby Championships, narrowly lost by 28 points to 26 against hosts Pirates in a nail-biting clash of the titans at Greenside Stadium near Johannesburg on Saturday.
The White Stallions, as the Pionierspark outfit is affectionately known amongst its ardent followers, were by installed – albeit by default – to represent Namibia at the Provincial Club Rugby Championships after Namibian champions Unam were deemed ineligible to compete as a result of their university status.
The competition rules prohibit university teams from participating, as South Africa has its own parallel rugby championship for that country’s university teams, as opposed to Namibia. Unam took issue with the Namibian Rugby Union and subsequently sought clarity from the South African Rugby Union (SARU), but their plea fell on deaf ears.
The students then sought recourse with the country’s presiding body, the National Sports Commission (NSC), for swift intervention, only to be told their protest was hopelessly too late to warrant a thorough investigation by the powers that be at General Murtalla Avenue.
New Era Sport has been reliable informed that the NSC has sympathy with the aggrieved party, given the fact that Namibia does not have properly organised university rugby league structures, unlike South Africa.
NSC strongly feels the students were hard done by the NRU’s apparent half-hearted approach to advocate their case with SARU.
Sources close to the action revealed that the NSC and NRU would issue a joint press release in the course of the week where an amicable solution will be mapped out to avoid such a misunderstanding in future.