The TuksWomensRugby 7s side made history when they beat Sweden’s Jesters to win the Stanislas Sevens Tournament in Nancy, France on Sunday.
An elated Riaan van der Merwe (head coach) described it as the team’s best result since 2002.
It is no exaggeration to say the Tuks players dominated the tournament. In six games, Tuks scored 168 points and only conceded 27.
In the quarter-final, Tuks outplayed the French Military side to win 35–10; in the semi-final, they bested Sweden’s national side 33–0 and in the final, they beat the Jesters 17–12.
Nadine Roos (11 tries), Xandrea Breitenbach (7 tries) and the captain, Libbie Janse van Rensburg (6 tries), used their fleet-footedness to catch their opponents off guard time and time again.
According to Van der Merwe, the Jesters coach said afterwards that he cannot believe how the Tuks players have matured in their approach to the game since the last tournament.
‘He described us as one of the most skilled teams, which I view as quite a compliment, as the players really have put in a lot of hard work and dedication over the last few months to lift the standard of their game. The passion the players showed throughout the tournament definitely contributed to our success. It was a case of “one for all and all for one”. They played every game with the goal of making Tuks proud.’
The Jesters captain said: ‘It is exciting to see how Tuks is able to keep on identifying new talent and help them to become really competitive players. It means a lot for sevens rugby.’
Van der Merwe said the role of the of the team’s sponsor, DeltaDrone, should not be overlooked. Were it not for their support and vision, the team would never have had the chance to win an international tournament.
Janse van Rensburg described captaining the Tuks team as one of the biggest honours of her playing career.
‘It is difficult to describe how it feels to captain a team where every player has the same goal –to win. We realised from the start that it would be foolish to think about contesting the final, so we took it game for game. I can honestly say that everyone gave 100% each time we took to the field. Every victory motivated us more and brought us closer to fulfilling our dream. I have to thank our coaching team, Riaan van der Merwe, Konrad Lotter and Wynand van Wyk, for how they prepared us for this breakthrough moment. Their passion was infectious.’
According to Janse van Rensburg, she and her teammates now realise that they are good enough to win internationally if they keep on putting in the long, hard hours.