Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman says he is proud of his injury-plagued side’s third-place finish at the Cape Town Sevens.
After disappointingly losing to Fiji in the Cup semi-final, the Blitzboks went into their third-place playoff against New Zealand, who had beaten the hosts on Saturday, with just 10 men available having lost Snyman as well as Muller du Plessis and Zain Davids to injuries during the tournament.
However, under the interim leadership of Kyle Brown, they still managed to finish strongly and grabbed the bronze medal thanks to a try from Dewald Human with two minutes left in the match.
Speaking to the media after the win, Snyman praised the team’s guts and determination to beat New Zealand.
‘We started that match with only 10 players and played until the very last second of the match, something I am very proud of,’ Snyman said. ‘Having conceded late tries against them last night and against Fiji earlier on Sunday in the Cup semi-final, the guys proved their determination not to do so again.’
Powell was also pleased with the way his charges finished the year.
‘We finished sixth in Dubai where we played poorly in our first four matches,’ Powell said. ‘We started picking up some momentum and I think we improved further this weekend.
‘We let ourselves down at times, but we certainly finished in a much better state than last weekend. This is a good, positive way to finish the second leg of the series, with some momentum to take into the next leg in Hamilton in late January.’
Blitzboks wing Siviwe Soyizwapi agreed with Powell, adding that the team felt much better after their sixth-placed finish in Dubai.
‘We were competitive all along and had we played one of two moments better, we could have been smiling now,’ Soyizwapi said.
‘Six guys played here in Cape Town for the first time and they would have benefitted from this as well. As usual, the crowd came out in massive numbers and it was an honour to play here.’
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) December 9, 2018
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix