THORISO PHASHA 

The UP-Tuks women’s sevens rugby team has enjoyed a winning streak in 2015. The ladies’ success has not gone unnoticed, drawing particular attention when the team appeared on the SABC lifestyle programme Expresso.

UP-Tuks showed no signs of slowing down in the last month, with an impressive display at the USSA tournament at the end of September where they won four consecutive matches. UP opened with a 38-0 mauling of Walter Sisulu University. Their second victory came at the expense of the University of Fort Hare with a 33-0 whitewash. UP-Tuks continued in unrelenting fashion as they brushed aside the University of the Western Cape with a 22-5 scoreline. The Pretoria outfit showed no fatigue, concluding the tournament with a 19-0 sweep over the University of Johannesburg. The quartet of solid wins sealed their title credentials as the 2015 USSA champions.

Celebrations will be short-lived, however, as the team get back to the training pitch in preparation for their next challenge: the French Olympic women’s sevens team. The French team will be touring South Africa to face off against UP-Tuks between 26 October and 9 November this year in a series of friendly matches.

The most anticipated challenge this year for UP-Tuks will be the Dubai sevens tournament. It will be a great opportunity for UP-Tuks to compete on an international level against some of the best national teams in the world. The competition will take place from 3-4 December with Sweden, Germany and Australia also taking part.

It has been a remarkable season for Tuks so far. Coach Riaan van der Merwe had nothing but praise for his team. “Tuks sevens ladies [are] champions in South Africa and Europe! [They are] one group of ladies from a university [who] is not afraid to face the world,” he said. UP are optimistic about finishing off the year on a positive note and perhaps even with their undefeated record still intact.

Image by Riaan van der Merwe

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