Madiba magic for Blitzbokke

Mon, 09 Dec 2013 06:48
Large blitzbokke clap.jpg630

The memory of Nelson Mandela loomed large in Port Elizabeth on Sunday as the Blitzbokke came from behind to seal a dramatic victory over New Zealand.

The memory of Nelson Mandela loomed large in Port Elizabeth on Sunday as the Blitzbokke came from behind to seal a dramatic victory over New Zealand.

The South African team took huge inspiration from a 32 000 strong home crowd and all the emotions of fellow South Africans to win the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament, which they dedicated to the memory of the former President.

The South Africans fought back from a 14-0 deficit early in the first half to beat defending champions New Zealand 17-14 in a tense final and clinch Round Three of the Sevens World Series.

Two late first half tries got the Bok Sevens back in contention and a Kyle Brown try in the second half gave them a lead they would not surrender again. They kept their composure in the last minutes to keep New Zealand at bay and away from the gold medal presentation.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell was a very relieved man afterwards.

"We needed to be close to New Zealand at the break, so when we scored late in the first half (through Branco du Preez), it meant a lot to the guys. We showed a lot of guts out there and the guys really played for each other. I am a very proud coach at the moment," said Powell, who won his first title after only three tournaments in charge.

According to Powell, the Madiba magic touched his team and they dedicated this victory to his memory.

"It was a very emotional weekend for all South Africans, but we realised that we needed to do it for his memory and for ourselves. We could only do it by playing as a team and playing for each other," added Powell.

Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown, also praised his teammates for their special effort.

"We were all desperate for a good result and knew that we had to do this as a team. We had to dig deep to come back, but I never doubted the character and will to win," Brown said.

"This is a special win and we cannot thank the crowd enough for their support. It was also important for us to keep improving and following our fourth place at the Gold Coast and second spot in Dubai, a win here justified the hard work the squad has put into training," according to Brown.

New Zealand raced into a 14-0 lead with two converted tries, but a brace by Branco du Preez got his side back into contention.

A great piece of individual play by Brown early in the second half saw the South African captain sprint 40 metres for a try that proved to be the match winner.

With this win, South Africa also moved up the World Series standings and are now in second place with 56 points, just two behind New Zealand with 58. Fiji (48) drops to third with England remaining in fourth spot (40).
 

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Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
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Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
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Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
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Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
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Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
South Korea 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens