Pumas win Schools 7s Invitational

Following an intriguing day of sevens rugby, Tau and Pumas emerged to contest the Schools 7s Invitational at Pirates Rugby Club in Greenside, Johannesburg.

Four provincial invitational teams – hosts Tau (The Golden Lions' representatives), Falcons, Leopards and Pumas – arrived to sweltering conditions ready to bring the heat and they duly delivered.

TAU DOMINATE AS ROUND-ROBIN EBBS AND FLOWS

Tau and Leopards got the ball rolling and following an enterprising match, the locals proved too strong for the boys from North-West to win 33-17. The Pumas-Falcons fixture which followed proved to be a far tighter affair, but the boys from east Gauteng snuck home, 25-19.

As it happened, it was soon two losses on the trot for the boys from Mpumalanga, as Tau beat them 19-12 in another closely fought contest. Leopards, meanwhile, got the better of the Falcons to win 26-7 and remain in the running for the final.

With the Falcons and the Leopards each on one win, it looked like one of them would Tau in the final following the final round robin matches. The Falcons' hopes were dashed, however, when Tau showed no mercy to beat them 42-5 to reconfirm their 'tournament favourites' tag. The Pumas, meanwhile, were too good for the Leopards and their 35-14 win saw them claim a final spot courtesy of the two bonus points they picked up in their losses and their positive goal difference.

NERVES PLAY ROLE IN FINAL

As a result the 2019 Schools 7s Invitational final saw Tau take on Pumas with the young starlets showing their promise and potential in front of a big crowd and live on SuperSport 210.

Damien Markus scored first for the Pumas but Tau responded well and scored back-to-back tries as they took a 12-5 lead. However at the halftime whistle Waldo Stoltz scored a comeback try for the Pumas to see them go into the break deadlocked at 12-12.

The second half was a more of the same as both teams exchanged tries with Herschelle Goodman from Tau scoring a brilliant individual try to tie up the scores at 19-19. Pumas then got the psychological edge when they scored another 5-pointer with a minute remaining to make the score 24-19 in their favour. The team from Mpumalanga would eventually hold on to be crowned 2019 Schools 7s Invitational champions.

SCHOOLS 7S INVITATIONAL RESULTS
Tau 33 Leopards 17
Pumas 19 Falcons 24
Tau 19 Pumas 12
Leopards 26 Falcons 7
Tau 42 Falcons 5
Pumas 35 Leopards 14
Tau 19 Pumas 24 (Final)

By Nkosinathi Shazi