Varsity 7s is just days away and Durban is gearing up to host the best student sports summer festival as both Varsity 7s and Varsity Beach Volleyball will be in action at Kings Park from the 1st to the 3rd of December.
Nelson Mandela University, University of Johannesburg and the University of the Free State are all returning to Varsity 7s in 2017 and they are eager to get their campaigns off to winning ways. The Madibaz qualified for the 2016 Bowl final against UCT thanks to the five bonus points secured during the regular matches and although they did not lift the Bowl, the lessons learnt were invaluable according to Madibaz 7s head coach, Jandre Blom.
“A big lesson learnt from last year was that we were under prepared but we made the decision to get as much game time with our boys playing in three tournaments in the lead up to Varsity 7s,” said Blom. “Having said that, things can go pear-shaped on match day so we have several game plans to fall back on. We are determined to finish better this year and have an experienced squad to do so,” he added.
UFS won five of their nine matches and secured three bonus points as the former champions finished off the 2016 regular matches with a respectable 23 log points. UJ only managed four wins but it was enough for the men from Johannesburg to reach the playoff round. UFS and UJ faced off in the 2016 Plate final which UFS won at the death and UFS 7s head coach, Erick Colyn is set on improving on their 2016 standings.
“We are very excited to get going. In Bloemfontein there are no sevens leagues so the boys are itching to go. We have a decent squad on paper but we are lacking game time,” said Colyn. “Varsity Sports is all about having fun but we know that more fun is to be had when the results go our way so we are definitely going down to push for the title,” he added.
UJ were not impressed with their 2016 run and sevens head coach, Patrick Ross-Allen, is adamant that UJ have put that disappointment behind them and are looking at nothing short of the title.
“We will be approaching each and every match as a final. We want to do better than last year and have a squad that can lift the Cup come Sunday,” said Ross-Allen.
Be sure to catch all the action on Super Sport as the next generation of sevens stars do battle in Durban at the Varsity 7s tournament. Proudly brought to you by First National Bank, Steers and Samsung.
By Dan Lombard