Neil Powell has hailed his Springbok Sevens team’s fighting spirit following their first tournament win at the Wellington Sevens since 2002.
The last time the Blitzboks lifted the Wellington Sevens crown was 15 years ago, when Powell still featured in the playing squad.
After his team’s convincing 26-5 victory over Fiji in the Cup final on Sunday, Powell says he will cherish the result because it’s his first as a coach in Wellington, but also because of the team’s character over the course of the event.
‘That was my first win as a Blitzbok and this is my first here as a coach, so it is pleasing, especially as we came so close last year. I will remember the win, but also because of the tremendous character showed by the team,’ Powell said.
Powell specifically singled out the Blitzboks’ semi-final clash against Canada as the match in which they were physically challenged, but dug deep to triumph.
‘The guys were tested out there, especially the match against Canada was a very physical one,’ confirmed Powell.
The coach also called on his team to sustain the consistency they’ve showed over the last three tournaments in Dubai, Cape Town and Wellington.
‘We have set a standard for ourselves now and if we want to make the top four in every tournament, we will need to be consistent in all our phases of play. The guys trust the system and the system is looking after them and as long as that happens, we should do well,’ Powell concluded.