The Blitzboks clinched the World Sevens Series and Paris Sevens titles on Sunday. Photo: Martin Seras Lima, BackpagePix

They’ve done it! After years of being the bridesmaids, and missing out on the Olympic gold medal, the Blitzboks are finally the kings of the World Sevens Series once again.

The Springbok Sevens beat Scotland 15-5 in the final on Sunday to win the Paris Sevens, but they already claimed the World Series title before their semi-final clash against New Zealand, after the Scots defeated England in their last-four encounter.

Having last won the overall title in the 2008/09 season, the Springbok Sevens have had to play second fiddle to New Zealand and lately Fiji in the shortened format.

They have finished as the runners-up in five out of the last six World Series seasons, with the New Zealanders winning the title on four occasions and Fiji twice.

“We are extremely grateful and blessed, the team worked for this for three seasons. Last year we came close, but this time we managed to do it,” Powell said.

“I have to give the guys credit, they are an incredible group that never feared hard work and they deserve this.

“We are also lucky to have management members back home and on tour who work incredibly hard for the team, and I want to thank all for that. The support we get from SA Rugby is also instrumental in our success.”

The Fijians went a step further and claimed the gold medal at last year’s Rio Olympics, with the South Africans having to be satisfied with a bronze after going down to Great Britain.

But Neil Powell’s team finally got their day in the sun in Paris on Sunday, as they outlasted Samoa 12-0 in the quarter-final before 26-5.

And not only did they win the series, captain Philip Snyman and his side gained revenge on Scotland in the Paris final after losing to them in the pool stages on Saturday.

Powell achieved something unique as he became the first person to win the World Series as a player and as a coach. He was part of the squad that last won the title for South Africa in the 2008/09 season under then-coach Paul Treu.

“I am much more relieved now than in 2009 when I was a player. Back then, I was just happy to win it, this time there is huge relief,” said Powell.

“And feeling really blessed. We are not finished though, we want to finish the series strong next week in London and keep chasing that perfect game. We have high standards and keep pushing to improve as a squad.”

Independent Media

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