The Varsity 7’s, hosted at Villager FC but organised and run by Varsity Sports SA,was everything as exciting and action packed as promised.
With 10 of South Africa’s leading Universities taking part, the games being broadcast live on Supersport Channel 210 as well as having a large crowd in attendance over the three days, the event can unequivocally be called a success for both the organisers and Villager FC point of view.
The event transformed Brookside into the world class venue it always has been, from having beer gardens next to Celtic House, a Steers VIP seating area, tables along the entire stretch of the parking lot for spectators and having the field transformed with painted advertising, LED advert signs along the touch line and a massive LED screen in the corner for all spectators to watch the action live on T.V.
Aside from seeing Brookside transformed, the fact that so many spectators turned out to watch the Varsities in action is testament to the quality of the event. The grass banks were full for most of the event and the vibe was outstanding due to the festive music playing and the vibe masters who did a sterling job in geeing up the crowd.
As with most big rugby events certain celebrities were seen around Brookside over the three days including many former Springboks such as Francois Pienaar, Gobani Bobo, Breyton Pulse and Derek Hougaard. Day 3 also saw the entire Blitzbokke squad attend including the coaching staff as well as former Bok 7’s coach Paul Treu. Former Springbok Coach, Pieter De Villiers was also there in his capacity as director of rugby at UWC who were participating.
As far as the actual rugby was concerned the standard of play was high with Tuks, Shimlas and UJ standing out, whilst UCT struggled initially in the early rounds but eventually claiming the Plate Cup over UWC who incidentally thrashed UCT on day 1. Eventual winners Shimlas University were full value for the title as they dominated the event from start to finish and continued where their University left off after winning the Varsity Cup this year.
A noteworthy and phenomenal touch by the organisers saw our long standing barman, Martin Sheeba, hand out the winners medals on the final day live on Supersport. We don’t think Marty could have been prouder wearing his full Villager regalia from hat to blazer, he did the club proud out there! Well done Marty!
A big thank you goes to Rameez Ismail, Dave Edwards and Martin Sheeba for their efforts over the weekend and to the others who contributed in getting the event to Villagers in the first place. Long may we hope to host this event!
Final: UFS-Kovsies 24-19 UP-Tuks
Third/Fourth: NWU-Pukke 31-19 UJ
Plate Final: UCT-Ikeys 17-12 UWC
Seventh/Eighth: Maties 30-7 NMMU
Ninth/10th: WSU 26-32 UFH
Champions: University of the Free State
Second: University of Pretoria
Third: North West University
Fourth: University of Johannesburg
Fifth: University of Cape Town
Sixth: University of the Western Cape
Seventh: University of Stellenbosch
Eighth: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Ninth: University of Forth Hare
10th: Walter Sisulu University
Video Highlights from the weekend:
Photo Galleries courtesy of Varsity Sports:
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**Cover image courtesy of Thys Lombard Photography