Six rugby players for Student 7s

PIONEERS: The CPUT rugby 7s team took part in the annual Varsity Sports 7s tournament for the first time in history following their success in this year’s University Sports South Africa 7s tournament.

Six rugby players from CPUT were invited to be part of the SA student 7s training camp during the recent Varsity Sports 7s tournament which was held in Johannesburg.

On 5 and 6 October the CPUT men’s rugby 7s team took part in the annual tournament for the first time in their history following their success at this year’s University Sports South Africa 7s tournament.

Lunathi Nxele, Lucan Kirchner, Ryan Solomons, Keanu Maree, Mario Wilson and Randy Brinkhuis were rewarded for their heroic efforts throughout the tournament with call-ups to the national team.

The cherry on the cake was Lucan walking away with the Player of the Tournament accolade at Varsity Sports 7s, having scored the second most tries with 11.

“Having qualified for this tournament through USSA 7s, this was CPUT’s first time taking part in this tournament. It would be safe to say that we were the underdogs and highly favoured to finish bottom of our group with USSA 7s’ 2018 Champs UWC, WSU and NMU,” says Sports Development Officer Bulelani Mlakalaka.

“Nevertheless, the coaching staff and players had the belief that they were there to compete and not to make numbers, and with the added bonus of being shown live on TV the players’ spirits were high.”

During the first game CPUT lost a player due to injury and were forced to play the rest of the Varsity Sports 7s tournament with a squad of 11 players.

By the end of the first day CPUT was top of their group and one of the only two teams that won all their group matches. The next day saw them playing NMU in the quarter-finals.

“Day Two did not go as planned because players showed signs of fatigue which led to lapses in concentration in the knockout stage and we ended up finishing eighth overall,” adds Mlakalaka.

“Overall the guys played well, they represented the institution with distinction. Their blood runs blue.

Varsity Sports 7s results:

Day 1 (1.) CPUT 22 – 15 UWC  (2.) CPUT 47 – 5 WSU  (3.) CPUT 24 -17 NMU

Day 2 (1.) CPUT 19 – 22 NMU  (2.) CPUT 19 – 31 UFS  (3.) CPUT 22 – 24 NMU

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