From the 29th of November to the 1st of December, the UCT 7’s side will participate in the high profile and televised Varsity Sports Camps Bay Sevens tournament. In way of preparation for the tournament the team took on the Springbok 7’s, Maties and UWC over the weekend, in an exciting round of warm-up games.
UCT played each of the teams twice over the course of the weekend, and the exposure was undoubtedly invaluable for the boys. Especially noteworthy were their two games against the Blitzbokke who are fresh off their fourth place finish in the Gold Coast, and busy preparing for the Dubai 7’s.
On Thursday, UCT played 3 chukkas against the Blitzbokke. The first chukka saw UCT go down 3-0, the second saw them go down 3-1, and then in the third chukka the Bokke requested that they practice their defence on penalties, so no scores were kept. UCT 7’s coach, Christiaan Esterhuisen, notes that many of the UCT players were still writing exams on Thursday, and hence the side was not at full strength.
In their game against the Blitzbokke on Friday they played 2 chukkas going down 2-0 and then 3-1, which was a huge improvement as they then had more players available with exams finished.
Esterhuisen says that despite the team’s losses, the games were welcomed, and the experience appreciated. “It is always nice to play these friendlies against the Blitzebokke. It is such a great opportunity for the guys to measure themselves against the best 7’s players in the world,” he said.
He went on, “It gives the players a lot of confidence and belief as they can see that they can actually compete against these players. It definitely helps them to get into that 7’s mindset after a long season of 15’s and they are gaining valuable experience.”
Following the weekend’s endeavours, UCT will, this week, once again play both UWC and Maties in similar warm up games. The team will look to take the lessons learnt from these games and apply them to the upcoming Varsity Sports tournament.