Powell content with Blitzboks' 'younsters'

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 10:59
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SEVENS SPOTLIGHT: Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, was a pretty pleased man after the International Sevens tournament in Stellenbosch on Sunday.

And for good reason. Not only did the South African squad play with much authority on Day Two of the event to clinch the Trophy, a number of players made a successful return to the playing field.

Kyle Brown and Justin Geduld returned to match fitness, while Chris Dry and Rosko Specman were amongst those returning from a stint in fifteens.

"I was very pleased in the way a number of younger players have stepped up to the plate. It is clear that even experienced and regular senior players will have to earn their spots when I name the squad for the opening tournament in the World Rugby Sevens Series," the coach said.

"It was great seeing Werner Kok and Ruhan Nel joining the team to show their support, even though they were still with Western Province in Durban. It points to the healthy culture in the squad, something that is pleasing to see. I am thrilled with the way the squad mixed and matched within our structures for the weekend and that is a positive sign for us,"

Powell achieved most of his objectives, he said

"The guys played together for the first time in months, we had some old hands coming back into fitness and generally played with good intensity."

The Blitzboks won the tournament in impressive fashion, improving all the time on Sunday at the Markötter Stadium.

In the final, they outplayed Scotland 33-5 with a number of disciplines tested by the visitors. The Blitzboks attack though, proved pretty sharp, especially in the second half.

Siviwe Soyizwapi scored his customary try to open the South African account, before a converted Philip Snyman try extended the lead to 14-0.

Scotland grabbed one back just before the break, but that would be the last time they crossed the South African line.

Second half tries by Ryan Oosthuizen, Mosolwa Mafuma and Rosko Specman secured a pretty convincing win.

South Africa advanced to the final courtesy of a 26-7 win over England Academy in the semifinals. The visitors took an early lead with a converted try, but true to form, the South Africans struck back immediately.

First Dewald Human was worked through a good gap, before Michal Haznar opened a hole in the England defence to extend the lead to 14-7. Sako Makata then finished strong play by his inside backs to score, with for a 19-7 scoreboard at the break.

The second half saw some good attack from the visitors, but also strong SA defence. They held out the English and after a good turn-over by Chris Dry, Human scored his second of the match.

Earlier on Sunday they progressed to the semifinals of the Assupol International Sevens tournament at Markötter Fields in Stellenbosch after beating Maties Rugby 33-5 in the quarterfinal.

The Blitzboks scored five tries against a well-drilled Maties outfit. Philip Snyman opened the scoring for his team and a 7-0 lead, before a breakaway try by Maties had the locals on their feet. Justin Geduld restored the five point lead just before the break.

The second half saw three more tries from the Blitzboks, with Mosolwa Mafuma getting a brace and Impi Visser running the length of the field for his second try in the tournament.

 

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