It was close but no cigar for the Delta Drone TuksWomensRugby 7’s team as they lost against Rugban in the final of the 2022 Brussel's International Rugby 7's in Belgium.
It was a humdinger. After 14 minutes, Tuks was leading 12-10. It was thought the ref would blow his whistle one last time to end the game. But he allowed one last scrum. That is when things went downwards for Tuks. Rugban won the ball and started an attack from their own half. They scored a try in the corner with skilful handling skills to ensure they won 15-12.
Tuks got the better of the French team during the pool games, winning 14-7. Rugban is a Rugby Academy in France.
The TuksWomensRugby Sevens head coach, Riaan van der Merwe, had to admit that the try that sank them in the final was a brilliant effort.
"Our players put in some heroic tackles, but Rugban's players managed to keep their attack going and score. Well done to them.
"The try Kirsten Eastes scored for Tuks was also a textbook effort. She started running from the half-line. With pure guts and skill, she managed to avoid being tackled."
Van der Merwe also praised the team's captain, Kemisetso Baloyi. She was outstanding in every game.
"She plays hooker for the Springboks, but for Tuks, she plays flyhalf. There is a reason for this. She loves running 'angles' and putting the players on her outside in space from which they could score. What I love about her is the high intensity with which she plays.
"Unfortunately for Tuks, our scrumhalf, Miche Pretorius, injured her shoulder during the semi-final to such an extent that she was sidelined. I switched Kemi to scrumhalf. In hindsight, I perhaps should not have done so as it disrupted the whole backline."
According to van der Merwe, he was also impressed by Nolwazi Hlabangane's forward play. "Pure gold" is how he described her performance.
Tuks scored 198 points in their seven games and only conceded 32. So far this season, the team has won three of the five international tournaments they played. They were victorious during the Ovalyonne Tournament in France, Melrose 7's in Scotland and the Centrale Sevens in France.