The annual MiWay National Sevens tournament will be taking place at Sentraal High School this weekend and the 2017 edition promises to be bigger and better than before.
This year will feature a record number of 36 teams competing and, unlike before, there is a waiting list for teams to compete. The tournament will also be contested over two days for the first time.
It is expected that the two-time defending champions, Grey College, will make it three titles in a row, however, all eyes will be on Sehunelo Secondary School. Last year the school stole the show due to the attitude the players showed during the tournament. They were crowned the eventual second-division title. The team put up a dazzling performance and upset a few teams along the way in reaching the final in its division. In fact, the boys and coaches from Sehunelo were actually upset that they could not get to compete against Grey and the hosts, Sentraal, and the ever exciting HTS Louis Botha.
Well, this year their wish will come true. They have been moved up a division and will be competing against Grey II and Louis Botha just to name a few. The tournament organiser, Gerhard Beukes, says it is a very exciting time for the aspiring Blitzboks.
“After last year’s request, we said ok, fine, after winning the B-division we’re pulling them up to the A-division. They will be playing against schools like Jacobsdal which has also joined up this year. They will also tackle Diamantveld from Kimberley, our local schools, Jim Fouché, Sentraal and Grey College.
“It’s going to be a great tournament and the exciting part of it is the growth of the tournament with the amount of teams.
“We have twenty teams in the Under 17-division and 16 in the Under 15-division.”
Another exciting addition to the tournament this year is a traditional powerhouse of Free State rugby in the form of Kroonstad High School, more affectionately known as “Blouskool”.
Another fantastic and exciting addition to the tournament is that for the first time it can be viewed without actually being at the tournament. A streaming service has been added and technology will allow just about anyone to follow the tournament.
The action can be viewed live on www.schoolsportlive.com. This will, however, only take be available on Saturday, when it will be largely play-offs, Beukes says. “On Saturday the whole day will be streamed on School Sport Live, so you can go follow it on that link.
“On the social media side, we will be really busy on Twitter and Facebook. This will be our biggest drive to show people what will be happening on the day. The streaming will also add nice value.”
The 2017 MiWay National Sevens will kick off on Friday 1 September and will conclude on 2 September. – MORGAN PIEK