THORISO PHASHA

With the conclusion of the Varsity Cup a few weeks ago, ten teams recently hit the sevens circuit in the Varsity Cup sevens tournament. The competing teams included the eight teams that recently competed in the Varsity Cup rugby competition and two additional entrants, Walter Sisulu University (WSU) and the University of Fort Hare (UFH). The competition took place over three days from 30 April to 2 May at Villagers FC in Cape Town.

UP-Tuks went into the competition trying to redeem themselves after the shortcomings they endured in the 15-man format of the Varsity Cup but were left shell-shocked when they lost 31-12 to UWC in the opening fixture. They soon shook off the loss with a 31-7 victory over Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. North West University (Pukke) picked up a 19-12 scalp over UP-Tuks to hand them their second loss of the tournament. UP-Tuks regained composure to beat the University of Cape Town 29-14 and Stellenbosh (Maties) with a 24-0 scoreline to stay within title contention.

UP-Tuks opened round two on 1 May with a 31-0 drubbing of WSU. Team morale was on a high as UP-Tuks surged passed the University of the Free State with a 29-12 victory to record their fifth win of the campaign. The winning momentum saw UP gain a 26-19 victory over the University of Johannesburg and overwhelm tournament stragglers UFH with a 43-0 demolition. The string of victories ensured they qualification for the play-off stages as they finished the round fixtures second on the log. UP finished with seven out of nine wins and a point difference of 139 heading into the semi-finals.

The third and final day of the tournament commenced on 2 May with a face off against Maties in the semi-finals. UP came up short, losing 12-5 to Maties which sealed off UP’s title ambitions, but the bronze final was still up for grabs with familiar rivals Pukke standing in their way. The first half was scoreless with both teams refusing to budge, but Pukke proved too tricky for UP-Tuks, winning the match 17-0. Maties was the eventual champion as they beat UWC 19-5 in the cup final.

 

Photo: SASPA

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