Home crowds clearly helped the Gauteng teams this weekend when the Varsity 7s Tournament saw 12 universities compete in the men’s division and four in the inaugural women’s division at the Pirates Rugby Club in Johannesburg. University of Joburg (UJ) took the men’s title for a second time, while the University of Pretoria (UP) took top honours in the debut women’s division of the tournament.

Men’s final: UJ 20 – Maties 0

UJ have won their second Varsity Sevens title in three years. Starting their final with a player down, the Orange Army were first to score thanks to Musawenkosi Tshabalala running 70m for the first try of the match. The Powerplay, which had proven effective throughout the tournament, saw UJ score a 10-point try and lead 15-0 at half-time. Stellenbosch University’s Maties could not find a way through the UJ defence and with the clock ticking down, Odwa Nkunjana scored arguably the try of the tournament to put UJ firmly in charge and ensure that the trophy will travel to Auckland Park. It was only fitting that Nkunjana was named FNB Player of the tournament as UJ won the title 20-0 to be crowned this year’s Varsity 7s champions.

UP-Tuks women take the first Women’s Rugby 7’s title

Photo Credit: Konrad Lotter

Women’s final: UP-Tuks 46 – UFH 0

Whilst the men’s team could not hold onto their title, UP-Tuks women lived up to their pre-tournament favourite billing and took the inaugural Varsity Women’s 7s title. The ladies from Pretoria took on the University of Fort Hare (UFH) in Saturday’s final. Opening the scoring with two tries, the final was pretty much decided in the first half when Kemisestso Baloyi then scored back-to-back tries for UP-Tuks to go into half-time with a 24-0 lead. The second half saw the UP-Tuks demolition continue as they scored again and showed no remorse for UFH. Another try courtesy of the Powerplay was the finishing touch of the 46-0 win.

All reports courtesy Varsity Sports