The Springbok Sevens team has officially wrapped up their Covid-19- disrupted season after receiving silver medals for finishing second in the 2019-20 World Rugby Sevens Series.
The physical handover of their 2019-20 World Rugby Sevens Series silver medals has given the Blitzboks some closure and finality on the season that was. They can now start looking toward their next goals – the 2021 series and the Olympic Games.
That is the view of Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell after his charges were officially received their silver medals, awarded to them after the World Series was suspended with only six of the 10 tournaments completed.
SA Rugby’s deputy president, Francois Davids, did the handover to the squad in Stellenbosch on Monday.
Powell said the second-place finish reflects on the good work done by the squad during the season, winning the Dubai and Los Angeles events and finishing as 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,’ said Powell.
‘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.
‘I also have to congratulate our management, who was part of the planning and execution, as it remains a team effort from all involved.’
The Blitzboks have again shown great consistency by finishing second, first, first, fourth, and second in the last five seasons of the World Series.
In the 2019-20 season saw the Blitzboks maintained a 76% winning record – with 25 of their 33 matches in six tournaments ending in victories – while they lost only seven matches and drew 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 2020
Most points: Selvyn Davids – 109
Most tries: Angelo Davids – 16
Most tackles: Chris Dry, Stedman Gans – 44
Most runs: JC Pretorius – 53
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images