SA Rugby

Springbok Sevens Strengthen Lead In World Series Despite Singapore Stumble

The Springbok Sevens team on Sunday missed out the Singapore Sevens title but did enough to extend their overall World Rugby Sevens Series lead over nearest rivals, Fiji and England.

The Blitzboks finished 6th overall, but a number of surprising results saw them extend their lead overall with only tournaments in Paris and London left to play.

South Africa started the Singapore tournament 23 points ahead of Fiji in second place and now lead them by 25 points, courtesy of a crucial win over the Olympic champions in the 5th place semifinal. England, who finished third, moved closer to Fiji but is still 27 points adrift of the Blitzboks.

“Yes, that win over Fiji was a vital one and one of the success stories of this tournament for us. By beating them in that crucial match, we could actually extend our lead over them, which is a massive bonus for us,” Powell explained.

“We could also blood a number of youngsters, giving them proper game time and there does not seem to be any real injury concerns. Those are all positives.”

Powell was not too happy with their Sunday performance though, which saw them lose to Australia 19-17 in the Cup quarterfinal, before beating Fiji 19-14 in the 5th place semifinal. They were edged by New Zealand for 5th spot though, losing 17-12.

Canada won their first ever title in the series by beating USA 26-19 in the final.

Powell was not surprised by it.

“A lot of teams seem to battle to pick up their performances after Hong Kong. We also saw it last year when Kenya won their first ever title here and this time it happened to Canada. It is a tough tournament to play and we did not perform the way we wanted. We did extend our series lead though and that could prove pretty important.”

The team arrives back Tuesday morning and Powell admits that some hard work awaits the squad before the last two tournaments in Paris (13/14 May) and London (20/21 May).

South Africa will play in pool A alongside Canada, Scotland and Japan.

“We have some work to do that is for sure. We made too many mistakes in certain areas, but there is nothing hard work cannot fix, said Powell.

The standings after eight round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series are:

South Africa 157
Fiji 132
England 130
New Zealand 110
USA
Australia 94
Canada 76
Argentina 72
Scotland 68
Wales 61
Selected stats:

Siviwe Soyizwapi was the top scorer for South Africa with 35 points, with seven tries.

Chris Dry (129) and Philip Snyman (126) still leads the overall standings for tackles made.

Cecil Afrika added 18 points to this South African record for career points in the World Series. His tally of 1256 is ninth on the all-time list. He also scored his 150th try in the series, one of only ten players to do so.

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Swart Dag Vir Suid-Afrikaanse Rugby - SpelersKap Saru Oor Super-Skok

Die rugbyspelers-organsasie, Myplayers, het 'n dwarsklap na die Suid-Afrikaanse Rugby Unie (Saru) gemik nadat die beheerliggaam van die Super-reeks, Sanzaar, gister aangekondig het dat Suid-Afrika van aanstaande jaar twee van sy ses spanne moet prysgee.

"In sy nuusvklaring se Saru daar is breedvoerig met belanghebbendes beraadslaag, maar dit is interessant dat spelers nie deel van die proses was nie".

"Die spelers in skynbaar nie in hul oe belanghebbendes in hierdie besluit nie", het Eugene Henning, besturende direkteur van Myplayers, gister aan Volksblad gese.

Saru het vroeer in 'n nuusverklaring gese daar was nege maande se beraadslaging en dat daar 'n strategiese hersiening van die vooruitsigte, op kort- en langtermyn, van Sanzaar se kompetisies was.

"Die franchises, uitsaaiers en ondersteuners is almal geraadpleeg," het Jurie Roux, Saru se uitvoerende hoof, in 'n verklaring gese.

Henning se dat Myplayers, wat Suid-Afrikaanse beroepspelers se kommersiele regte bestuur en ook die sambreelorganisasie is waaronder diie Rugbypelersvereniging val, het in beginsel nie 'n probleem met Sanzaar se besluit nie.

"Ek sou egter wou dink die spelers behoort deel van daardie proses moes wees. Die spelers kan nie skielik staak nie, maat moet darem die besluit kan verstaan," se Henning.

Hy het bygevoeg daar kan 'n groot rimpeleffek wees omdat die franchises se provinsiale unies spelers vir meer as net een seisoen kontrakteer.

"Dit plaas die unies en spelers in 'n baie ongemaklike situasie, want hulle sit met dienskontrakte", se Henning. "Indien die Southern Kings wegval, sal dit nie in daardie opsig 'n probleem wees nie, want die spelers daar is slegs vir 2017 gekontrakteer. Ek is egter seker van die ander unies het spelers op lang termyn gekontrakteer".

In sy reaksie op Sanzaar se besluit het die voormalige Springbok-kaptein, Naas Botha, aan Tinus van Staden gese dat dit belangrik is dat Suid-Afrika se vier sterkste spanne in die reeks bly.

"Daar is baie maniere hoe hulle kan bepaal wie die spanne is wat moet wegval, maar al wat ek vra, is dat die beste vier Suid-Afrikaanse spanne oorbl," se Botha.

Volgens hom sou die ideaal wees dat die ses spanne wat tans in die reeks deelneem in 'n klein kompetisie speel om te bepaal wie in die Super-reeks gaan meeding.

"Niemand moet beskerm word omdat hulle tien jaar gelede 'n goeie span was nie. Waar jy geografies gelee is, moet ook nie bepaal of jy in die reeks speel of nie".

"Dalk is dit beter dat ons spelerspoel net vier spanne voed. Jy wil he dat die beste 160 spelers in die land die vier Super-spanne voed." is Botha se standpunt.

Saru se franchise-komitee,wat uit verteenwoordigers van al ses spanne bestaan, vergader more in Johannesburg om oor die kriteria te besluit.

Dalkies is dit nou tyd dat die embleem van die Springbok ook maar hier verwyder moet word, want daardie bokkie is nou behoorlik opgekerf en besig om biltong te word.

Soos ‘n vriend vir Sweep sê: Die All Blacks het die Half Blacks behoorlik gewen.

Die Volksblad
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