RugbyRocks.com

Blitzboks celebrate season with silver


Blitzboks coach Neil Powell says the physical handover of their 2019-20 World Rugby Sevens Series silver medals has given the team some closure.

The series was suspended with six of the 10 tournaments completed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

SA Rugby deputy president Francois Davids did the handover of medals to the squad in Stellenbosch on Monday.

Powell said the second-place finish reflected the good work done by the squad during the season, which saw them winning the Dubai and Los Angeles events and finish runners-up in Cape Town and Sydney.

'The pleasing part is that it shows that some of our planning – with the postponed Olympics in Tokyo as the end goal – was successful and can be copied when we do it all over again for the 2021 Games.

'The physical medal around the neck also gives the players the comfort that their hard work was not for nothing.

'The tournament wins in Dubai and especially Los Angeles were remarkable and even the two final defeats, in Cape Town and Sydney, hinged on one or two plays only.'

The Blitzboks have again shown great consistency, which saw them finish second, first, first, fourth and second in the last five seasons of the Sevens Series.

In 2019-20, they won 25 of their 33 matches, while losing seven and drawing one. They scored an average of 23 points and four tries per match, and made an average of 13 tackles per game.

Selected stats from 2019-20 season:

Most points: Selvyn Davids – 109
Most tries: Angelo Davids – 16
Most tackles: Chris Dry & Stedman Gans – 44
Most runs: JC Pretorius – 53