The UCT Ikeys Sevens team will be looking to make the most of home advantage at the Varsity Sevens tournament at Camps Bay at the end of the month.
The tournament will be held from November 29 to December 1 and will see ten Varsity sides do battle at the Camps Bay Sports Club which is just across the road from the famous beach.
The Ikeys have been taking their preparations quite seriously, taking part in a series of warm-up games against the Springbok Sevens side, reigning Varsity Sevens champions Maties and local rivals UWC.
UCT played each of the teams twice over the course of the weekend, and the exposure was undoubtedly invaluable for the team. Especially noteworthy were their two games against the Blitzbokke who are fresh off their fourth place finish in the Gold Coast, and busy preparing for the Dubai Sevens.
UCT played three chukkas against the Blitzbokke. The first chukka saw UCT go down 3-0, the second saw them go down 3-1, and then in the third chukka the Bokke requested that they practice their defence on penalties, so no scores were kept.
UCT Sevens coach, Christiaan Esterhuisen, noted that many of the UCT players were still writing exams, and hence the side was not at full strength.
In their second game against the Blitzbokke they played two chukkas going down 2-0 and then 3-1, which was a huge improvement as they then had more players available with exams finished.
Esterhuisen says that despite the team’s losses, the games were welcomed, and the experience appreciated.
“It is always nice to play these friendlies against the Blitzebokke. It is such a great opportunity for the guys to measure themselves against the best Sevens players in the world.
“It gives the players a lot of confidence and belief as they can see that they can actually compete against these players. It definitely helps them to get into that Sevens mindset after a long season of 15’s and they are gaining valuable experience,” he said.
Following their clashes with the national side, UCT will, this week, once again play both UWC and Maties in similar warm up games. The team will look to take the lessons learnt from these games and apply them to the upcoming Varsity Sevens tournament.