CUT beat UKZN 35-26 in the Varsity Shield final in Bloemfontein on Monday to earn promotion to the Varsity Cup.
The men from Bloemfontein are Shield champions for the second year in a row and the third time in total, but it is the first time they have progessed to the top tier.
The Impi could yet join them as they now have a promotion-relegation game against UJ, who finished seventh in the Varsity Cup, in Potchefstroom next week. Wits, who came eighth, have already been relegated to the Shield.
CUT led 13-8 at half-time of this closely fought final, but the Impi fought back well to lead 26-25 with 10 minutes to go.
However, the hosts finished strongly, with a fourth try and a drop goal ensuring victory.
CUT – Tries: Alec Mhlanga, Duan Pretorius, Stephan Griesel, Fanie Coetzer. Conversions: Pretorius (3). Penalties: Pretorius (2). Drop goal: Noel Marx.
UKZN – Tries: Duncan Campbell, Dean Muir, Deon Carney. Conversions: Campbell (3). Penalty: Campbell.
CUT – 15 Charles Hitchcock, 14 Alec Mhlanga, 13 Johan van Schalkwyk, 12 Duan Pretorius, 11 Kholo Ramashala (c), 10 Noel Marx, 9 Stephan Griesel, 8 Dean Kouprianoff, 7 Vincent Marupeng, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Lyvette Shikwambana, 4 Fanie Coetzer, 3 Danie van der Merwe, 2 Deon Gouws, 1 Len Noort.
Subs: 16 Daniel de Jager, 17 Gerhard Baard, 18 Moeka Bolofo, 19 Johann Grundlingh, 20 Marius Grobler, 21 Johan Nel, 22 Theuns Truter, 23 Hanro Liebenberg.
UKZN – 15 Hendrik Groenewald, 14 Shayne Makombe, 13 Brandon Bailing, 12 Kurt Mavrodaris, 11 Hendrik Lategan, 10 Duncan Campbell, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Deon Carney, 7 Zwela Zondi, 6 Lwazi Ngcungama (c), 5 Johan Wagenaar, 4 Adam Wessels, 3 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Henri Boshoff.
Subs: 16 Mikyle Webster, 17 Bartholomeus le Roux, 18 Gideon Koegelenberg, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Nelson Makhanye, 21 Gavin Nyawata, 22 Yandisa Mdolomba, 23 Sizwe Kuhbeka.
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/SASPA