Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell was a pretty pleased man after the Assupol International Sevens tournament in Stellenbosch on Sunday, and for good reason.
Not only did the South African squad play with much authority on day two of the event to clinch the Assupol Trophy, a number of players made a successful return to the playing field.
Kyle Brown and Justin Geduld returned to match fitness, while Chris Dry and Rosko Specman were among those coming back from a stint in 15s.
“I was very pleased in the way a number of younger players have stepped up to the plate. It is clear that even experienced and regular senior players will have to earn their spots when I name the squad for the opening tournament in the World Rugby Sevens Series,” the coach said.
“It was great seeing Werner Kok and Ruhan Nel joining the team to show their support, even though they were still with Western Province in Durban this morning.
“It points to the healthy culture in the squad, something that is pleasing to see. I am thrilled with the way the squad mixed and matched within our structures for the weekend, and that is a positive sign for us.”
Powell achieved most of his objectives, he said. “The guys played together for the first time in months, we had some old hands coming back into fitness and generally played with good intensity.”
The Blitzboks won the tournament in impressive fashion, improving all the time on Sunday at the Markötter Stadium.
In the final, they outplayed Scotland 33-5 with a number of disciplines tested by the visitors. The Blitzboks attack though, proved pretty sharp, especially in the second half.
Siviwe Soyizwapi scored his customary try to open the South African account, before a converted Philip Snyman try extended the lead to 14-0.
Scotland grabbed one back just before the break, but that would be the last time they crossed the South African line.
Second half tries by Ryan Oosthuizen, Mosolwa Mafuma and Rosko Specman secured a pretty convincing win.
Tries – Siviwe Soyizwapi, Philip Snyman, Ryan Oosthuizen, Mosolwa Mafuna, Rosko Specman. Conversions: Branco du Preez (3), Justin Geduld.