‘Lessons learned’ for BlitzBoks
SEVENS SPOTLIGHT: South Africa Sevens have learned some valuable lessons from their triumph in Paris says head coach Neil Powell.
The BlitzBoks retain the World Rugby Sevens Series title for the second consecutive season after a dramatic tournament in Paris.
Neil Powell’s men headed to Paris in second place, seven points behind first-place Fiji.
However, a 24-14 victory over England in the final, aided by Fiji’s fifth-place finish at the final leg made sure the BlitzBoks ended number one on the overall standings by 182 to 180 points.
The historic back-to-back World Series win is truly a striking achievement for a side, who only secured two tournament victories out of 10 compared to Fiji’s five.
The BlitzBoks’ 2017/18 campaign also took a turn for the worst when they failed to retain the Commonwealth Gold medal.
However, Powell revealed that he employed a different technique in Paris, which he will surely make use of during the World Cup in July.
“Looking back at the Commonwealth Games, our focus was totally on the wrong thing,” Powell told reporters at the Cape Town International Airport.
“We focused on defending our Gold medal and on the outcome.
“Where with the last two games of [the Paris leg] we focussed on the things we discussed. I actually told the guys they are not allowed to look at their cellphones so that the people would not shift their focus from where we [as coaches] feel they need to focus on.
“Normally they would take out their phones after a quarter-final, look at social media, look at the messages from back home… but in Paris, I informed them they are not allowed to.
“So, I think if we learned one lesson out of the last two games is to focus on the thing we always talk about; and the roles and responsibilities of each and every individual inside the team
“The guys did it really well in the last two games against New Zealand and Scotland. And the guys proved it in the type of rugby they played in the semifinals and final.
“We will definitely take the lesson into the World Cup in a month’s time,”
World Cup Sevens 2018 kicks off on July 20 in San Francisco. The two-day event will see 24 teams competing for the title