The Blitzboks celebrate their victory at the Canada7s in Vancouver. Photo: @blitzboks on twitter
The Blitzboks celebrate their victory at the Canada7s in Vancouver. Photo: @blitzboks on twitter

How the Bokke got their blitz back

By Sport Reporter Time of article published Mar 11, 2019

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CAPE TOWN – The Springbok Sevens team showed on Sunday evening (Monday morning in South Africa) that they remain a force to be reckoned with in the World Rugby Sevens Series when they won the 2019 Canada Sevens tournament at Vancouver’s iconic BC Place arena.

The Canada tournament was the first time the South Africans managed to reach a Cup semi-final after doing so at their home tournament in Cape Town in December.

In a performance unlike a week ago in Las Vegas, the Blitzboks came out fighting, demolishing all three their Pool A opponents, including Chile with whom the South Africans only managed to draw with (5-5) in the American desert.

After shutting out Chile (43 – 0) in their Canada Sevens opener, captain Philip Snyman’s team beat Wales (19-10) before upsetting Series leaders the USA (7–19) in their final Pool A match.

In a five-try romp, the Springboks dispatched of Argentina (12-33) in the Cup quarter-final to set up a semi-final clash with nemesis Fiji.

Coach Neil Powell declared himself ‘happy with how the guys gelled as a team after Vegas’ and they repaid the coach’s confidence by dispatching the Fijians by five tries to two (31-12).

In the Cup Final at BC Place, the Blitzboks met France for the first-ever Cup final clash between the two teams.

In another clinical performance, the youthful South African side showed that they are back to their former selves despite having lost some of their key players to injuries as well as fifteens rugby, running out eventual victors (21-12) over France.

"It was a great final," said 24-year-old man-of-the-match Selvyn Davids.

"We knew France would be coming for us. We got a lot of youngsters but like the coach says, if we can gel together then anything is possible."

"It was a much-needed win for our team," said South Africa's skipper Philip Snyman, who said it was an important stepping stone as they look to retain their series title. "I am really happy with the win. Hopefully we can build on this one." 

The win in a bitterly cold, snowy Vancouver was the Blitzboks first title this season and allowed them to replace England in fourth sport on the World Series log.

This means that, with four tournaments to go, they remain in contention to qualify for automatic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Blitzboks Selvyn Davids and JC Pretorius were named in the tournament’s ‘Dream Team’ following the Cup Final.

Sport Reporter

IOL Sport

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