Over the weekend of 25 April, ten universities from across South Africa competed in the annual Varsity Sports Rugby Sevens tournament at Villager FC in Claremont. The University of the Free State’s (UFS) Shimlas edged out UP-Tuks 24-19 in the final on Sunday to take home the trophy.

Tuks had a squad consisting of many Varsity Cup players and was looking to build on their individual disappointment and bring home the title, but they fell one step short of fulfilling their dreams. After nine league-style matches Tuks was placed third on the log, winning six of their respective matches. This position meant they had qualified for a cup semi-final showdown against the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Tuks comfortably beat UJ, who finished second on the combined log, with a score of 31-19 to claim their spot in the much anticipated Varsity Sevens final.

Shimlas started off strongly and after gaining a seven-point lead, they kept Tuks pinned down in their own 22 metre area. Late in the half, Tuks counter-attacked and scored two quick tries to head into the break leading by 12-7.

In the second half Shimlas applied even more pressure and Tuks could not get out of their own half. Ultimately Shimlas scored two more tries and gained a 12 point lead. All attempts that Tuks made to get back into the game were shut down immediately by the well-disciplined Shimlas side until Shimlas threw a wild pass, which gave Tuks possession and their third try of the final after running the length of the field. This turned out to be a consolation try as Shimlas took all the glory in a thrilling final to cap off a very successful tournament.

Image: VarsitySportsSA.com

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