Safety first, say Blitzboks after second place in World Rugby Sevens Series

By Michael Jansen Time of article published 18h in the past

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CAPE TOWN – World Rugby this week cancelled the remaining 4 tournaments of the ten-stop HSBC World Rugby Sevens Sequence because of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.

Sequence leaders New Zealand (on 115 factors) was named champions for 2019/2020, whereas second-placed South Africa ( on 104 factors) was named runners-up.

Fiji was awarded third-place after ending spherical six on 83 factors.

Though the World Sequence was lower brief, Blitzboks coach Neil Powell nonetheless congratulated All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw and his squad.

“New Zealand gained three of the six tournaments and had two extra podium finishes, which reveals their wonderful degree of consistency throughout the season,” mentioned Powell.

“After these performances, I feel they deserved the title. We had match victories in Dubai and Los Angeles and made the finals in Cape City and Sydney, however our beneath par performances in Hamilton and Vancouver value us.”

Whereas the cancellation of the Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris tournaments was disappointing, Powell and his fees are nonetheless glad with their season.

Siviwe Soyizwapi is happy with the Blitzboks' depth. Photo: Lalinka Mahote/ African News Agency (ANA)
Siviwe Soyizwapi is pleased with the Blitzboks’ depth. Picture: Lalinka Mahote/ African Information Company (ANA)

Springboks Sevens captain Siviwe Soyizwapi commented following World Rugby’s announcement on Tuesday:

“We fielded some younger gamers who put their arms up, which is at all times nice for a crew’s depth. It’s onerous to say how the outcomes would have gone on the finish of the complete season, however we will nonetheless be happy with the strides we made within the a part of the season that we performed.”

“World Rugby’s determination was a great name. It’s impractical to journey at this stage of the worldwide pandemic with worldwide borders being closed. It could even have been difficult with quarantine and different security laws in place.”

“It’s all about searching for the security of the gamers and I feel that was a part of what influenced the choice.”

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Blitzboks stalwart and hero of the Los Angeles Sevens, Branco du Preez joined Soyizwapi and coach Powell in congratulating New Zealand on the title.

“I feel we have been in unimaginable kind in Dubai and Los Angeles. It actually confirmed that we’ve a top quality facet. It’s disappointing to not end the Sequence as I nonetheless suppose the season was removed from over.”

“That mentioned, New Zealand was the higher crew and so they have been essentially the most constant all through the season. They deserved the win.”

“I wish to congratulate the All Blacks – women and men – on their win.”

South Africa's Branco Du Preez scores under pressure from Fiji's Asaeli Ratuvoka during the Los Angeles Sevens Cup Final on Sunday, 1 March 2020. South Africa won 29-24 in extra-time. Photo: AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu
South Africa’s Branco Du Preez scores underneath strain from Fiji’s Asaeli Ratuvoka throughout the Los Angeles Sevens Cup Last on Sunday, 1 March 2020. South Africa gained 29-24 in extra-time. Picture: AP Picture/Ringo H.W. Chiu

On their preparation for subsequent season, Soyizwapi mentioned: “It’s been a really totally different 12 months already. A shorter season means fewer video games performed additionally however it’s onerous to say the way it will affect subsequent season.”

“Ought to covid-19 situations enhance, worldwide borders re-open and as quickly because it turns into protected to journey once more we’ll have a look at how we will make up for misplaced recreation time.”

Michael Jansen

IOL Sport

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