Victory is the cry that emanated from the IIE Varsity College camp as the final hooter brought the curtain down on an epic University Sports South Africa (USSA) rugby final against Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) at the WITS stadium in Johannesburg on Friday 7 July.  The IIE Varsity College Rugby team recorded an historic 17-12 win in the final of the B section in an extremely tense and tight match. The IIE Varsity College beat all the Varsity Shield teams and move into A section for 2018, which is made up of all the Varsity Cup universities.
Said Captain Zwela Zondi (2nd year IIE BCom Pietermaritzburg): “This was by far the greatest feeling we’ve had all year. Indescribable really. I think everyone in the IIE Varsity College team left USSA week a better rugby player with more belief and excitement for the next rugby match as brothers and excitement for USSA in 2018. Players who weren’t part of the USSA tour were very supportive and showed a lot of love when they found out the news.”
Lihan Viljoen (1st year IIE DBME Durban North) was the Player of the Tournament in the B section.
With a less than perfect preparation, the Varsity College team began their campaign last Monday against a fired-up Cape Peninsula University of Technology.  Despite a slow start and conceding the first try, the team soon got into stride and began piling on the points to win the game 31-7, securing a semi-final spot against arch rivals UKZN last Wednesday.
The first half of the UKZN game proved to be a closely contested affair, with UKZN staying in contention for the first half.  A half time score of 14-10 to Varsity College pointed to a good contest. They proceeded to demolish UKZN, scoring 50 unanswered points en route to a massive 64-10 victory.  “I was very impressed with how the team changed tactics for the second half and executed a huge team effort in playing to our strengths. This crushing victory had the spectators enthralled and certainly raised some eyebrows with the officials.” said coach Neil Kalify.
This victory saw the IIE Varsity College pitted against TUT in the final.  Based on TUT’s victory against the strong NWU Vaal Pukke, there could be no doubt that this would be a tough one.  Zondi, “Captain Fantastic”, led the team onto the field and the tension was palpable.  Vice-captain Blessing Buthelezi (1st year IIE BCom Durban North) was first on the board with an unconverted try from a quick tap. This was cancelled out 20 minutes later by a TUT try.  The IIE Varsity College immediately hit back with a powerful try by JP Grobler (2nd year IIE BCom Westville) to ensure a half time 10-5 lead.
Varsity College’s top try scorer Malcom Cele (1st year IIE BCom Durban North) opened his account 14 minutes into the second half with a great sprint for the line to score a try under the posts.  The conversion took the score to 17-5 and the IIE Varsity College team looked as though they were starting to dominate.  A defensive lapse saw the TUT fullback score in the corner and a successful conversion took the score to 17-12. Suddenly the game hung in the balance.  However, superb defence by IIE Varsity College withstood a prolonged attack by TUT and forced them to make an error after the hooter had sounded.  IIE Varsity College kicked the ball out to seal a memorable victory and the USSA 2017 B division trophy.  It was a well deserved victory and one that will be remembered for some time to come.