The Blitzboks bounced back in dramatic fashion with back-to-back Pool A wins at the Dubai Sevens on Friday, to finish top of the group and secure a quarterfinal sport against Samoa on Saturday.
After a 14-5 stumble against Great Britain in their opening match, the Blitzboks overpowered Kenya 27-12 and then outplayed World Series champions Australia 19-12 to finish top of the pool and, in the words of assistant coach Philip Snyman, ‘restored the pride in the jersey’.
Snyman, himself a former Blitzboks captain, was full of praise for the performance of the players, especially after the opening match, which saw the snapping of South Africa’s 18-game winning streak in Dubai.
“We had a serious discussion amongst ourselves after the loss,” said Snyman, , who won three World Series titles as a player.
“The standard delivered was not the standard expected. We agreed there and then that it was not what this jersey was about. Credit to everyone who stepped up afterwards and gave us something to be proud of. Beating Australia, the number one team in the world, in the way we did, that was great. I think we restored the pride back into the jersey.”
The Cup quarterfinals will be played on Saturday, with all game live on SuperSport (SA times):
08h28: Argentina v Ireland
08h50: USA v Australia
09h12: France v New Zealand
09h34: South Africa v Samoa
Photo: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images