NANCY – The relatively inexperienced University of Pretoria's women's sevens team surrendered the Stanislas Sevens title after Poland scored in the final minutes to win 17-14 in Nancy, in France, on Sunday.
Riaan van der Merwe, the coach of the TuksWomensRugby7's, said he was pleased with the way the newcomers stepped up to the plate and said there were many positives to take from the tournament
Both Van der Merwe and captain Libbie Janse van Rensburg were naturally disappointed about the outcome, but they also know that the reality of any sport is that you got to be able to take the good with the bad.
“There are a lot of positives we can take from the tournament. The most important is the way the newcomers played," said Van der Merwe.
"They stepped up to the plate and that is exciting in us going forward. However, we need to work on some specifics of our game. Most importantly is our play on defence. During the final, we missed tackles at crucial moments."
"We can’t expect to win tournaments if we give away soft tries,” said Janse van Rensburg.
Tuks scored a massive 133 points in their three pool games while only conceding one try. In the quarterfinals, they beat Georgia 42-0.
The score in the semifinal game against Sweden’s Jesters was 35-0 which means in the whole tournament Tuks only conceded four tries, three of which was in the final.
Nadine Roos who played for South Africa during the Commonwealth Games scored 12 tries while Janse van Rensburg scored nine and succeeded with 32 nine conversions. She is proud of the fact that during the last three games she did not miss one conversion.
According to Van der Merwe he is not sure when last a player had 100 percent success rate as a kicker in one day.
From Monday, the Tuks team will be competing in the Centrales Sevens Tournament in Paris.
It is going to be a real test for the abilities of the Tuks players as the national teams of Wales, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Georgia are playing as well as in some of the top club teams of the Netherlands and Australia. Tuks finished 6th last year.
Janse van Rensburg said what might count against Tuks was that they only have one day to recover before playing again.
“Our bodies have taken a lot of strain over the weekend which means we won’t start with fresh legs, but I still think we will be able to win our pool games. What will happen from then on could be interesting.”
African News Agency (ANA)