The University of Johannesburg women’s sevens rugby team have been hard at work as they aim for the top honours in the University Sport South Africa tournament in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Chasing their first title after a number of close misses, the UJ team feel they are ready to prove themselves this time.
Under coach Mbuyiselo Siqebengu the squad have been going through an intense programme of tests, which have focused on their endurance and their big match temperament.
Team manager Tumi Leseke said they had been working with the university staff “to ensure our training is not only intense but effective”.
“The mood in the camp is more focused than excited,” she said. “We are focused on breaking the second-place curse.”
She added that the squad had plenty of experience and a chance to play in the World University Championships in July in Namibia would serve as strong motivation.
“A number of players have been selected for the South African Students team previously and even made it to the Springbok training squad, so there is enough in our line-up.
“We are also preparing a team which can perform not only locally but internationally, too.
“We have the calibre to be part of the selected USSA squad. The girls know that they have a chance to make it and that it’s all up to them now.”
Leseke said their biggest strength was that the team members always gave their best.
“These girls leave it all on the field and you could say they play like their lives depend on it.
“That is something you cannot coach or teach someone to do and it makes us dangerous and entertaining to watch.”