The University of Johannesburg were crowned the Varsity Sevens men’s rugby champions when they defeated Stellenbosch 20-0 in the final in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The tournament took place at the Pirates club and UJ captain Johan Esterhuizen said he was delighted at the outcome.
“To be honest, it still feels a bit unreal and I am lost for words at the final result,” he said following the tournament decider.
“Last year we came second to Tuks so we really wanted to rectify that outcome.”
Although they suffered a big disadvantage with the yellow card early in the game, the UJ defence proved relentless as they kept their opponents at bay.
Despite playing with six players, it was UJ who were first on the board when Musawenkosi Tshabalala broke through from close to his own 22-metre line and beat several defenders to put them 5-0 ahead.
They then scored a 10-point try during the power play to lead 15-0 at halftime.
With time running out and the score in UJ’s favour, Odwa Nkunjana settled the matter when he side-stepped three Maties players in one of the tries of the tournament to take the score to 20-0.
Fittingly, Nkunjana was named FNB Player of the Tournament, which he described as a “great feeling”.
“I am very thankful at receiving this award and we are very excited to have won the tournament,” he said.
On a personal level, he said he had aspirations of playing at the highest level.
“I want to make playing top-quality sevens rugby my goal and my aim will just be to keep working hard all the time,” said Nkunjana.