Sevens event transcends boundaries

Sun, 16 Dec 2012 15:26
Large bismarckduplessiskaizerchiefs Large maybru logo630 Large gcobanibobokaizerchiefs Large kaizerchiefssevens Large ntini runs630

The inaugural Sevens Premier League staged in George at the weekend was a rip-roaring success both on and off the field.

The inaugural Sevens Premier League staged in George at the weekend was a rip-roaring success both on and off the field.

Sport is often about much more than what happens between the lines. The potential impact it has on spectators is uncanny in its beauty and simplicity.

The heroics on the pitch not only captivate and entertain, it can, has and will continue to inspire individuals and unite nations.  

Rugby, ironically, epitomises the unifying power of sport in South Africa. The Springboks and the game as a whole were despised and considered by many as a ‘white’ sport during the country’s Apartheid regime.

However, come 1995, three years after South Africa’s re-admission and a year removed from the country’s first democratic election, Francois Pienaar’s World Cup-winning Springboks and the way in which then-president Nelson Mandela embraced the team and the sport united South Africa to a degree previously deemed impossible.  

Whilst on a much smaller scale, the weekend’s Sevens Premier League succeeded in transcending boundaries as soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs took the bold step to cross over to rugby. The inspired decision was a masterstroke, which uniquely amalgamated two sporting worlds into one.

The brand received the backing of Springboks past and present in coach Gcobani Bobo, captain Breyton Paulse and technical advisor Bismarck du Plessis among others, as well as the support of the South African rugby fraternity at large.

The Kaizer Chiefs collective, complete with Proteas cricket legend Makhaya Ntini as team manager, were the most popular team of the tournament and enjoyed a successful introduction to the seven-man oval ball game.

They advanced to the Cup quarterfinals, where they succumbed to an extra-time defeat to the All Stars in the Cup quarterfinals and produced the highlight of the competition when they ‘unleashed’ Ntini as an impromptu substitute.     

The sight of the former fast bowler nearly scoring a try and making two tackles during the third/fourth place play-off match in the Bowl competition was certainly one to savour.

Overall, the standard of Sevens played was top-class and the competition proved a welcome addition to the South African rugby calendar.
The introduction of commercial outfits Kaizer Chiefs, All Stars, Mighty Mohicans, Vikings, Plate winners Living Ball and inaugural champions Samurai added extra spice to the two-day spectacle and the presence of provincial teams and stars like England ace Ben Gollings, Sarel Pretorius, Willie le Roux, Johann Sadie, Derick Minnie and Subura Sithole underscored its credibility as a high calibre, professionally organised tournament.
Willem Strauss and company has successfully identified a previously untapped Sevens market, took the game back to George and delivered a product that has the potential to boost nation-building and strengthen player depth on an annual basis, with the Blitzbokke bound to benefit from the emergence of promising talents such as Samurai hero Justin Geduld.

By Quintin van Jaarsveld

MailBru: Think you know better than Quintin? Drop us an email with your comment and your reply could get published on rugby365 and win you a MayBru hamper in the process!

MayBru - Seriously South African

There are currently no matches being played
Tue, 06 October 2015
Canada v Romania 15h45 Leicester
Fiji v Uruguay 19h00 Milton Keynes
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 15h45 London
Namibia v Georgia 19h00 Exeter
Fri, 09 October 2015
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Golden Lions v Griquas 12h00 Ellis Park
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 14h05 Bloemfontein
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 9 0 0 0 92
Wales Sevens 9 0 0 0 91
France Sevens 9 0 0 0 73
Scotland Sevens 9 0 0 0 48
United States Sevens 9 0 0 0 41
Kenya Sevens 9 0 0 0 40
New Zealand Sevens 9 3 0 0 167
Fiji Sevens 9 3 0 0 161
England Sevens 9 1 0 0 135
Samoa Sevens 9 1 0 0 133
South Africa Sevens 9 0 0 0 125
Australia Sevens 9 0 0 0 112
Canada Sevens 9 0 0 0 33
Spain Sevens 9 0 0 0 19
Portugal Sevens 9 0 0 0 18