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08 January 2018 | in NUSF News, Rugby, Beach Volleyball

South African University Sports 2017 season concludes with Rugby Sevens and Beach Volleyball

The University of Johannesburg take the Rugby Sevens title as the University of Pretoria wins Beach Volleyball to go with their athletics, women’s hockey, netball and rugby titles from 2017

 

The curtain has finally been drawn on the South African Varsity Sports scene for 2017 following a thrilling and entertaining festival of sport in Durban in December.

 

The eastern coastal city played host to the last two events on the Varsity Sports calendar, as the top ten universities in the country battled it out for Rugby Sevens honours at the Kings Park Rugby Stadium. Just a stone’s throw away, six of South Africa’s universities were represented in the women’s beach volleyball tournament in an action-packed weekend for locals.

 

Rugby Sevens

 The University of Johannesburg won the Rugby Sevens title on the final weekend of the South African Varsity Sports calendar

The action began on Friday in two days of round robin action, as all ten sides faced off against each other, with the top four teams progressing to Sunday’s semi-finals.

 

North West University (NWU) were the team that looked the strongest over the first two days, losing just one of their first nine matches, including an impressive 22-0 win over the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and a convincing 41-7 win over the Cape University of Technology.

 

Ending second on the log was the University of Stellenbosch with six wins from their nine games, followed by defending champions University of the Free State (UFS), while UJ snuck into the top four despite their three losses over the opening three days.

 

First met fourth, while second met third in the semi-finals on Sunday, and despite the 22-0 whitewash in favour of NWU on day 1, the team from Johannesburg avenged that defeat in handsome style, beating the table-toppers 19-5 to advance to the final.

 

In semi-final two, Stellenbosch faced UFS, who had narrowly won 14-12 on day one, as the defending champions did the double over their rivals, beating them 21-19 in an entertaining last four clash to book their final berth.

However, UFS were unable to defend their crown as they were humbled 32-5 in a one-sided final, an early yellow-card costing UFS dearly early on as UJ capitalised, eventually running away with a four tries to one victory to claim their first Varsity Rugby 7s title.

 

Beach Volleyball

 The University of Pretoria takes the Beach Volleyball crown in Durban, South Africa to go with their athletics, women’s hockey, netball and rugby titles in 2017

Defending champions the University of the Western Cape (UWC) enjoyed a flawless round robin stage in the opening day’s action of this year’s beach volleyball event, and were the only unbeaten team after day one as they topped the table with five wins out of five.

 

Ending the standings in second with just one defeat was the University of Pretoria (affectionately known as Tuks), while the University of Limpopo (UL) and University of Johannesburg (UJ) rounded off the top four to advance to Saturday’s semi-finals.

 

In semi-final one, UJ stunned defending champions and four-time winners UWC in a nail-biting knockout clash: having being beaten 41-25 in the round robin stages the previous day, UJ gave all they had in this encounter, and with the scores level at 30-30 with two minutes ago, the UJ ladies gave one last push as they emerged 36-33 winners to advance to the final.

 

In semi-final two, Tuks – who had beaten UL 40-36 in the group stages – did the double over their Limpopo counterparts, easing to a 37-22 win to progress to the final.

 

In a showdown between the two Gauteng Province universities, Tuks – who had won 39-23 the day before – were again way too strong for their counterparts, recording a mammoth 52-20 victory to claim the title.

 

The victory caps off an impressive 2017 Varsity Sports year for Tuks, who claimed overall goal in the rugby, athletics, women’s hockey and netball events as well.