WSU Kiwis hoping to shine at 7’s rugby spectacular

APRIL 29, 2016

The Walter Sisulu University (WSU) Kiwis rugby team will prove a tough nut to crack at this year’s edition of the Varsity Sports Seven’s tournament set to take place in Cape Town from 30 April to 1 May this coming weekend.

WSU’s Seven’s team, comprising 16 players from the University’s Mthatha, Butterworth and Buffalo City campuses, have vowed to improve from their ninth place finish at the same tournament last year.

“This year’s competition is going to prove a lot tougher, with a lot of teams weary and gunning for us following some shock defeats we inflicted on some of the more fancied opponents last year. We are however physical and psychologically ready for the upcoming onslaught,” said Kiwis captain and third-year Policing student Nzondelelo Gemashe.

He says the players have had to work incredibly hard in shifting their mind sets from the traditional 15-man format to the more taxing seven’s game.

Gemashe says with the tight window between the end of the regular 15-man rugby season and the Varsity Sports Sevens showpiece, the team has been hard-nosed in fine tuning their technical and tactical aspects of the game.

“This is a passionate, committed, and most importantly unified bunch of players that have great talent. But talent is not enough when stakes are this high. The tactical and technical aspects of the game are critical to the success of the team,” says head coach and former Springbok sevens player Lubabalo Mzwakali.

Mzwakali cut a quite and yet confident demeanour as he spoke about the team’s prospects and expectations in the tournament.

“We’re not there to make up numbers. We showed last year that we can go against any of the top teams, and beat them. Our ultimate goal is to improve on last year finish, preferably place in the top six,” said Mzwakali.

Ten universities from across the country will compete at this year’s tournament. They are: University of the Free State (Kovsies), Stellenbosch (Maties), NMMU (Madibaz), NWU-Pukke, UP-Tuks, UCT, University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg and University of the Western Cape.