Blitzboks proud humbled to win HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series

Rugby


South Africa’s Sevens team are humbled and proud to have won the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the second time in as many years, captain Philip Snyman says.

The Blitzboks clinched the series, played over eight months and 10 tournaments around the globe, with a thrilling victory at the HSBC Paris Sevens, defeating England 24-14 in the final to pip Fiji for the overall title.

Blitzboks coach Neil Powell was also named World Rugby Sevens Coach of the Year, while Dylan Sage made the Dream Team of the Series.

“One cannot describe all the emotions,” Snyman said.

“Relief, gratitude, satisfaction, pride and gratefulness are just a few of the things we feel as a group. “We really took the long road this time around, having to win the final match of the final tournament to win the series. The way the squad responded was hugely inspirational.

“That said, the effort from the squad over the 10 tournaments was equally rewarding. We had good wins, patchy performances, injuries to key players, new faces, but in all of that, we had a system that we believed in, a process that delivers results, a management that work so hard for us and of course, a support structure back home that we play for.”

Powell, meanwhile, said the players’ “mental focus and composure they showed was fantastic”.

“All credit to the boys for believing in their success. We had everything to play for and the team did an incredible job, not just today but over the whole season,” Powell said..

“I also want to congratulate Fiji on an amazing season, they were phenomenal.”

Fiji dominated the Dream Team, with Kalione Nasoko, Jerry Tuwai, Amenoni Nasilasila and Rookie of the Season Eroni Sau named.

Kenya’s Oscar Ouma and Australia’s Ben O’Donnell rounded out the selection with Sage.

Kenya won the men’s Fair Play Award, awarded by the match officials to recognise the teams who showcased “rugby’s values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect”.

Kenya reached the final in both Vancouver and Hong Kong this season.



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