Nelson Mandela University walked away with their heads held high after hosting the sixth University Sport South Africa women’s sevens tournament in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
A successful day of rugby had Nelson Mandela University’s Melissa Awu, one of the driving forces behind the tournament, smiling from ear to ear.
“The hosting went very well. I had a strong local organising committee that executed their tasks well and I’m just very happy.”
The former rugby manager was almost lost for words at the Madibaz’ performance, saying she had been blown away.
Captain Inga Mbobo said she too was proud of their achievements and was excited about the improvement since last year.
Finishing seventh overall, she said they had made great strides since the start of the season.
“I’m really quite pleased with our performances because some of the girls only started playing in March, at the start of the season, and others only joined three months ago,” she said.
“There’s been huge improvement and you see so much effort from everyone.”
Having worked on their ball skills, fitness and overall health for hours on end, Mbobo said their aim had simply been to put it all into practice in their pursuit of delivering an exciting brand of rugby to their fans.
“We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could do it, and we definitely showed that.”
The 21-year-old, who hails from Soweto but now lives on the campus, said head coach Tembelani Sibuta and assistant Lona Ntsila had been key to their development.
“They’ve made everything possible. All their hard work was on display on Saturday.”
The hosts won two of their four games, starting on a high note against Walter Sisulu University’s B team (10-5) and then going on to beat Rhodes University (10-0) in their final game of the day.