Sevens

Powell pleased with Blitzboks HK performance

2017-04-09 20:03
Neil Powell (Gallo)

Cape Town - Coach Neil Powell was more than pleased with the way his squad performed in Hong Kong, despite a 22-0 loss to Fiji in the final of the tournament, the seventh in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The Blitzboks have never won the Hong Kong Sevens and again failed at the last hurdle, but Powell was far from despondent.

"We did very well, considering the inexperience we had in our squad and the fact that we were without a number of star players," Powell said.

"We did well over the three days and managed to play five good games, but unfortunately we were just not good enough in the final. Well done to Fiji, who deserved the win."

The coach admitted that he was well aware of the tough pool and a possible quarterfinal clash with either Fiji or New Zealand, adding to the demanding schedule.

"I was a bit nervous as the pool stage could easily derailed us and the cross-over was tricky. Looking back now, we did excellent and I am content with what we achieved."

The strong showing helped the Blitzboks to keep a 23-point lead over closest rivals, Fiji and England.

"That helped a lot for our confidence, but it is not something that we can feel at ease about. We need another strong performance in Singapore next weekend to keep the pressure on Fiji and England."

Powell also aimed at giving more playing opportunities to younger players in the squad during the series and due to the injuries in camp, had little option to do so in Hong Kong. "It was one of the objectives we had pre-season and I am happy that we could do that. I wanted to give the younger guys more chances on the field and in match situations. They can do great things on the training field, but they only learn from mistakes they make while playing out there. So that was another boxed ticked for us."

Stats Check:

Most points - Hong Kong:

Branco du Preez 28

Cecil Afrika 23

Most points - Season:

Seabelo Senatla 160

Branco du Preez 136

Cecil Afrika 104

Most tries - Season:

Seabelo Senatla 32

Werner Kok 19

Chris Dry 15

Siviwe Soyizwapi 15

Most tackles - Hong Kong:

Philip Snyman 18

Cecil Afrika 16

Most tackles Season:

Philip Snyman 119

Chris Dry 116

Werner Kok 104

Winning streak last 30 matches

1. South Africa 26 wins out of 30 played

2. Fiji 22/30

2. England 22/30

4. New Zealand 21/30

Read more on:    blitzboks  |  hong kong sevens  |  neil powell  |  sevens  |  rugby
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