Stand-in captain Impi Visser says the Blitzboks were pushed to the brink in the Seville Sevens final against Australia on Sunday night.
The South Africans extended a winning streak that started in Vancouver and Edmonton in the 2021 season, and continued in Dubai (twice), Malaga and into Sunday’s final in Seville, notching up 34 wins, their best run in World Series history.
The victory in Seville did not come easy as the Blitzboks were pushed in pool play. They had to come from behind against Spain and USA, and in the knockout stages they were trailing Scotland. They hit their straps in the Cup semi-final against Ireland and prevailed in a hard-fought win over Australia in the final.
“It is pretty emotional for us, we had to dig deep,” said Visser, who led the Blitzboks in Seville. “They are a tough team to play against, credit to them. I think our boys just grafted a bit more and in the end, we wanted it a bit more.”
Visser took over the captaincy from Siviwe Soyizwapi, who was injured in the Malaga tournament, while South Africa also lost Branco du Preez to injury against Scotland and they then had to watch Justin Geduld being stretchered off in the final against Australia.
“This was a win that tested our character and resilience, and it is a feeling of relief and pride to know that we stood firm against some very good teams out there,” added Visser.
“It was never about the winning streak or number of trophies won, it is our system that rewarded our belief and trust.”
Free-running Christie Grobbelaar was named Player of the Final with a brace of tries, and he was all smiles and compliments afterwards.
“This is a team effort, we each have a role to play and when we do our jobs well, the rewards are there for everyone to enjoy,” said Grobbelaar, whose tries on either side of the break put the Blitzboks on the road to victory after a slow start.
“This was a hard-fought tournament. We had some bad patches, but we kept the faith and belief in what we needed to do. These wins are testimony to the hard work we do in Stellenbosch.”
— HSBC Spain Sevens (@Spain7sSeries) January 30, 2022