There's gold in them BlitzBok dreams

Sun, 03 Aug 2014 21:06
Large blitzbokke 7s final6

EXCLUSIVE: In part three of his interview with SA Sevens coach Neil Powell, Jan de Koning looks at Rio 2016.

South Africa's victorious Sevens team will not be afforded too much time to dwell on their Commonwealth Games success.

The next stage in the 'road to Rio' will soon start.

That is when the BlitzBokke will look to build on the gold medal-winning performance at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow last month.

SA stunned four-time champions New Zealand with a 17-12 victory in the Final to seal Commonwealth gold.

And, in pursuit of adding the Olympic gold medal to their collection, they will use the 2014/15 IRB Sevens World Series as a launchpad.

"Next season [on the IRB World Series] will be vital for us," BlitzBok coach Neil Powell told rugby365 in an exclusive interview.

"It is part of the qualifying process for the Olympic Games and we have to finish in the top four," he added.

The top four teams at the end of the series will automatically qualify for the 12 spots available at the global showpiece in South America in 2016.

"That is why it will be important to take his momentum and confidence we got from the [Commonwealth Games] tournament into the World Series.

"Then, if we qualify for the Olympic Games, we can take that confidence into the Olympic Games as well."

The South African team captured the imagination and hearts of the Scottish fans in Glasgow, even after knocking the home team out in the quarterfinals.

It was the unbridled vigour on attack and resolute defence that saw them surpass their previous best attempts at the Commonwealth Games - which included two bronze medals.

However, despite their gold medal-winning form, Powell feels they will have to raise the bar significantly if they want to stay at the top of the totem pole.

"There is always room for improvement," Powell told rugby365, when asked how close to the perfect game of Sevens his team was.

"The guys played a very good brand of Sevens [in Glasgow], but there is always room for improvement.

"No doubt that every time we go out onto the field we aim for the perfect Sevens game, so hopefully we get there soon."

By Jan de Koning

* Don't miss the rest of our interviews with the victorious BlitzBokke, when we chat to Springbok wing Cornal Hendricks and also bring you the view of SA Sevens captain Kyle Brown.

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Pool 20
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