PRETORIA – The University of Pretoria Rugby Sevens team turned out to be real champions during the Centrale Sevens in Paris when they beat Wales in the semifinal and then went on to win the tournament.
Beating Wales 19-12 was possibly one of the team’s best-ever performances. Wales is currently the ninth best team in the world. Sweden and Germany, who are respectively ranked 18th and 19th, also competed.
Tuks won the quarterfinal by beating Finland 19-5 and in the final they accounted for the Ramblin Jesters (the Sevens rugby equivalent of the Barbarians), winning 33-12.
Libbie Janse van Rensburg (captain) received the player of the tournament for the second consecutive year.
In the last 12 months, the TuksWomensRugby7's, as they are known, has won three international tournaments.
Last year they won the Stanislas Sevens in France and was also victorious in Munich. Earlier this year Tuks won the USSA Tournament.
“This was about pure guts and passion,” said coach Riaan van der Merwe.
“The players started out tired as they had just one day’s rest from playing in Sunday’s Stanislas Sevens final in Nancy. But the moment they took to the field all that mattered to them was to win.
“Every one of them put their body on the line without hesitation. Their motivation was to make Tuks proud, showing that the university’s sports team are capable of taking on the world’s best teams and beat them.”
The try Shania-Lee Swart scored in the final was according to Van der Merwe an excellent example of the passion with which the players played.
“Shania-Lee got the ball on the halfway line and was only stopped 20 metres from try-line. She managed to offload the ball. When her teammate got tackled, she was there to retake the ball and went on to score. It was brilliant,” said Van der Merwe.
Liske Lategan and Meghan Phillips, playing on the wing, were excellent when they got the ball in hand while Janse van Rensburg along with Nadine Roos and Kemi Baloyi seem to be able to be able to lift their game when it mattered continuously.
Over the weekend the Tuks team will be competing in the Benidorm 7’s Tournament in Spain.
African News Agency (ANA)