The 2022 sporting season has been fruitful for the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) senior women’s rugby 7s team; they were crowned the 2022 Varsity Sports rugby 7s tournament champions on Saturday, 08 October 2022 at the University of Pretoria (Up-Tuks) Stadium. Their championship comes just two months after they also won the 2022 Imbokodo 7s tournament in August.
The UJ ladies dominated the tournament, winning all six games played. UJ opened the first of the two-day tournament with four wins on Friday, 07 October 2022. The Orange Army handed the first four heavy defeats to Walter Sisulu University (WSU) winning with a whopping 34-00 final score. Tanya Shava scored a hat trick. In the second encounter, UJ had a walk in the park over the University of Limpopo (UL) ladies, winning 58-00 with Precious Maduchem bagging a hat trick. It did not end there.
The third match against Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) ended with a 39-05 score line with Tanya Shava scoring another hat trick. The last match on day one closed with UJ walking away with a comfortable 64-00 win against UP-Tuks and captain Masingita Simango scoring a hat trick.
“I am excited and really proud because we came here as a team and we really pulled through out the tournament. I feel like we had each others back in the final way more than ever, I feel like that is more exciting and that is what I am proud of,” says Masingita Simango, UJ women’s rugby captain.
On Saturday, 08 October 2022, the UJ ladies continued where they left off, winning their fifth match 43-00 against Nelson Mandela University (Madibaz) before heading into the final. The team had only conceded one try after five games played.
The final featured two titans of the tournament, UJ took on the second strong team which had also not lost a match, the University of Fort Hare (UFH) ladies. The UJ ladies dominated the entire match with players such as Mardiya Usman, Precious Maduchem and the tournament’s top goal scorer Tanya Shava having a superb match. The team sealed the deal in the final minutes of the match through a try and a successful conversion courtesy of Tanya Shava to make it 17-05 in favor of UJ.
The women’s head coach, Bongiwe Nhleko, said that it was all a mental game and that they had to find out the reasons the ladies were playing rugby. Nhleko said that playing in the 2022 University Sport South Africa (USSA) 15s rugby was a build up for the Varsity Sports tournament to get the confidence needed.