The Team from the Western Cape, against all the odds, defeated the University of Free State to win the 2022 men’s varity 7s championship at Tuks Stadium
UWC and UFS served up a final of the ages as both teams served thrilling and nail-biting rugby. The finale was undoubtedly the best fixture of the day. Here is a wrap of the final and all the other men’s games that were played.
UWC 21 – 19 UFS
A colossal final was on the cards as UWC took on UFS to determine the men’s 7s champions. Peter Williams drew first blood for UWC however UFS immediately bounced back courtesy of Shaine Anderson. The tactical gambit of power play then came into effect as Ferdinand Vergottini scored. The entrainment was being served on a platter as Peter Williams scored again to see his team within reach of UFS. The score was 19-14 in favour of UFS at halftime.
The second half saw UFS come under sustained pressure from UWC,l and it eventually told as Tasriq Mynhardt scored a memorable try for UWC to take the lead again. The match was a final for the ages as UWC were crowned 7s champions beating UFS 21-19.
Mens Position 3/4 match
UJ 10- 31 NWU
A third-place finish and bronze medal was at stake when the 2019 champions UJ took on NWU. Aphelele Madaka scored for NWU to take the lead. Brandon Keevy then pounced on a loose ball error and scored at the end of halftime to make it 12-0 to NWU.
Keenan Tweeg and Calvin Clark made certain of victory when he scored the Eagles third try and fourth try to put UJ to the sword. Max Williams put the cherry on top with a fifth try. UJ’s Sphesihle Nkabini Nkondlo Radebe scored two consolation tries and the game ended 31-10. NWU came in third while the 2019 champions UJ finished fourth.
Mens Position 5/6 match
Maties 24- 7 Madibaz
The match started at a snail’s pace with no team showing the ascendancy. It was only towards the end of the half when Romano Jonkerman scored the first try of the match and it was 7-0 at halftime.
The second half was also a cagey affair but Maties managed to get a second courtesy of Anton van der Mesch. Maties then made a certainty of 5th place as Mathew Van Schalkwyk scored a power point try. Madivaz added a try at the end as Chadwyn November scored the last try of the game. Maties finished the tournament in 5th place and Madibaz in 6th.
Men’s Position 7/8 match
UP-Tuks 36 – 17 Wits
The home side was playing for 7th after the tournament had been suspended due to lighting. Tuks came out of the blocks firing with two tries from Buhlebethu Planga & Campbell Willemse. However, Wits scored a power play try and were level after a conversion. Zander Reynder gave the home side the lead again but Wits bounced back again in a thrilling half of rugby that ended 17-17.
The second half saw Tuks blow away their opposition with 3 unanswered tries. Wits could not respond to the second half and lost 17-36. Tuks finished the tournament in 7th place while Wits finished 8th.
Mens Semi-Final 1:
UWC 24 – 14 NWU
The first semi-final was an enticing fixture with both teams looking to book a place in the final. Tasriq Mynhardt took advantage of the power play and scored a u10 point try for the team from Western Cape. Jason Cloete soon made it two tries in succession and UWC were looking like a team on a mission. NWU’s Keagan Taigg scored a try right after the end of the power play with the score 19-7 into halftime.
The second half saw NWU claw their way back as Max Williamson narrowed the deficit to a mere 5 points and it was all to play for. Momentum was undoubted with the NWU but UWC broke their hearts at the death with a try from Angelo Rudolph to take a 24-14 and book a place in the final.
Mens Semi-Final 2:
UJ 5- 31 UFS
A mouthwatering second semifinal lived up to the billing as champions took on the contenders. UFS stunned the champions as Chad Adams scored two tries in succession, giving the Orange Army all to do. UFS were unplayable and scored a power-play try courtesy of Kyle Thompson and it was getting ugly for the defending champions. Chad Adams scored his third try and it was 31-0 going into halftime.
UJ were playing for pride in the second half as they had a mountain to climb to consider a comeback. Asemahle Mafenyana got UJ’s first points of the game, but the team had to surrender their champions status and lost 31-5 to UFS.
Mens Position 5/8 Playoff:
UP-Tuks 19- 22 Madibaz
The knockout stages of the tournament saw the 5/8th playoff match to see who’ll advance to the 5th place final. The home team were caught napping when Onothanto Sobopa gave Madibaz the lead. The home side however scored to level the scoring thanks to Pierre Fourie with the score 5-5 at halftime.
There was a crescendo of noise early in the second half when Buhlebethu Planga put in the pace and scored to give the home side the lead. Tuks suffered a double whammy with a sin bin and conceded a power play try as Sibalomzi Mqeni scored for Madibaz. Momentum was with Madibaz as they eventually put the game to bed as Byrce Collins scored for Madibaz. Tuks got the last say with a try but eventually lost 19-22.
Men’s Position 5/8 Playoff:
Wits 12 – 40 Maties
The side from Stellenbosch got on the board first as Maties Anton van der Mescht showed his quality in attack. It went from good to better as Brett Arnold sidestepped 3 defenders to give Maties a comfortable cushion. It was raining tries as Wits were drowning courtesy of Stefan Smit and captain Frederick Van Zyl who gave Maties a 26-0 lead at halftime.
Wits got on the board in the second half but once again Maties outclassed the team from Johannesburg courtesy of Stefan Smit. Simemela Nkomo pulled another try for Wits. Maties put the icing on the cake and scored their fifth try to win the match 40-12.
Madibaz 31 – 17 Wits
The morning session of the Varsity 7s matchday 2 kicked off with Wits and Madibaz. With all to play for on the final day, teams were looking to book a place in the knockout stages. Chadwin November of Madibaz gave his team the lead early on. But it was short-lived as Kevin Hlupheko of Wits jotted down. With the half on the brink of conclusion, Reece Cambier got Madibaz’s second try and they led 14-5 going into the second half.
In the second half, Madibaz showed why they were the better team overall and scored a third try courtesy of Khakhalethu Bophi and followed that up with a power play try by Byrce Collins. Wits speedster Thando Ngcelwane scored a consolation power play try as the match ended 31-17 to Madibaz.
UP-Tuks 0 – 27 Maties
Tuks vs Maties began with the latter invading the opposition s try line and the pressure eventually told as ever-consistent captain Frederick Van Zyl scored the only try of the half to go into the half with a 7-0 lead.
The power play which was proving to be an exciting tactical gambit saw Maties Anton van der Mescht extend his team’s lead to 17-0. Stefan Smit and Brett Arnold had two more tries for the team from Stellenbosch and the home side Tuks were humbled 27-0.
UWC 24 – 17 UJ
The defending champions were on a mission. of redemption following Friday’s derby defeat and got out of the blocks early and scored courtesy of captain Mpho Khubeka. UWC however we’re not going to be a pushover as they scored on the break with big man Shain Oderson giving his team a slender lead. A sin bin for the Orange Army saw UWC crucially extend their lead against 6 men. UJ clawed their way back before halftime as captain Khubeka scored a brace and it was 14- 12 to UWC at the break.
UWC benefited early in the second half with a power play try and widened the gap. The Orange Army were livid when they scored a sensational try after calling a power play but it was only counted as a normal try. The match eventually ended 24-17 for UWC.
UFS 29 – 24 NWU
Ferdinand Vergotttini was at the right place at the right time and scored for Shimlas with an early lead. Max Williamson however capitalized on a power play try and it was NWU who was in the lead. The team from the North West extended that advantage courtesy of Wendall Osula but Stiaan Genis had the last say in the half and scored, making it 14-17 to UFS at halftime.
UFS coach called a power play early in the second half and his team answered immediately with Chad Adams scoring a try on the wing. Ruben Cronje shoved a defender to the ground and scored but NWU made it a nervy ending by scoring a try and conversion. But it was not enough as Shimlas won 29-24