Varsity Sports Sevens champions Maties put their success down to the quality of their preparations in Stellenbosch.
The Maroon machine took the Plettenberg Bay title and finished as runners-up to Kovsies in Margate to claim the overall title, which their coach Ian Campbell-McGeachy believes was earned by the hard work put in ahead of the tournaments.
With the Blitzbokke also based in Stellenbosch, Maties got the opportunity to test themselves against the best, as well as taking on local rivals UCT and UWC in some training matches.
He told varsitysportssa: “We managed to organise a few training days with the national Sevens team so we played a few matches against them. UCT and UWC also came and joined us for days where we just played some chukkas against them.
“That definitely made a difference for us, obviously playing against the best in South Africa helps you in the pressure situations, so I think that made a big difference in our preparations – especially when it came to finals and semifinals,” said the Maties coach.
Campbell-McGeachy was particularly satisfied with the way his team took the opportunity to make an impression, with players such as Caleb Smith, Jarryd Buys, Andre Smith and Josh Bassingthwaighte amongst the most exciting talents on show.
“They took the opportunity very well, and I think everybody saw them enjoying it so the guys really had fun and were really keen to perform well,” he said.
The wet conditions at both tournaments and the gruelling playing schedule provided some serious obstacles, but Campbell-McGeachy was happy with the way his side dealt with those issues.
“Obviously we want to play an expansive Sevens game but towards the end the conditions didn’t help us that much which was unfortunate.
“The bodies were quite tired playing all of the games on tour so it affected us a bit in the end but during the round-robins and through the semifinals I think we handled it quite well,” he said.
The Maties coach believes that Varsity Sports is set to explode in 2013, and tipped the Sevens tournament to gather some serious momentum next year.
“I think all the opportunities are there to make it a very big situation, and I am 100 percent sure that it will grow and everyone will want to be involved in it,” he said.