If anything, Group C is Maties’ to lose, but they won’t necessarily have it all to themselves with a former runner-up in the mix too.
Much like their pedigree in the 15-man game, the Maroon Machine have an enviable record in Varsity 7s. They have featured in all six previous editions of the tournament, and boast three titles.
Maties were the inaugural winners back in 2012, where the tournament featured legs in Plettenberg Bay (which they won) and in Margate (where they finished runners-up) – across which they edged Kovsies.
A year later, in Camps Bay, they defended their title and added a third in 2016 at Villagers in Cape Town.
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In that final they beat UWC, 19-5, and their Cape neighbours will undoubtedly be their main rivals for the top spot in Group C which will be decided when they face each other at 16:20 on Friday.
UDubs have also featured in all previous editions of Varsity 7s, with mixed success. Apart from that surprise run to the final in 2016 and fourth-place finish last year at Pirates (when Madibaz edged them 24-19 following a sudden death try), UWC have finished either sixth or seventh.
That said, they should have too much firepower for the other two Group C teams, CPUT (who made their tournament bow last year and finished eighth) as well as WSU who have only managed 10th-place in each of their three Varsity 7s campaigns.
Group C Games (all on Friday, 4 October)
Maties vs WSU (10:28)
UWC vs CPUT (10:50)
Maties vs CPUT (12:40)
UWC vs WSU (13:02)
Maties vs UWC (16:20)
CPUT vs WSU (16:42)