Powell: Shift in focus did it for us

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 13:46
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REACTION: Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said he is super proud of his squad after the BlitzBoks won the Sydney Sevens. 

This win comes a week after the team won the New Zealand leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Wellington.

The win, their third in four finals in this series, was secured by beating England in the final 29-14.

Yesterday, in their final pool match at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney, England pipped the Springboks, winning 21-15.

"I am very happy with the performance today, especially the way we turned it around from yesterday. I was a bit worried after yesterday, as we did not play well, but now I am very pleased and proud," Powell smiled. "It was also pleasing beating England the way we did in the final."

Powell said they needed to shift their focus when playing against England, the only team to defeat the BlitzBoks twice this year.

"Yes, our two defeats this year came against England, but this time our focus was right. We decided to focus on what we need to do and not so much on what we expect England to do. We decided what we wanted out of the game and the guys kept their focus. We controlled the game from the first minute to the last and that is very pleasing," Powell revealed.

The back-to-back wins, the first time a Springbok Sevens team could manage this in Australasia, is a real feather in the cap for the squad, the coach said.

"It is always going to be special to win the double. Not many teams have achieved that, so it feels good. Another pleasing aspect for me is the fact that we are winning finals. Last year we only won one of four and so far, we are three from four. We wanted to make a mind shift there and it seems to work at the moment."

Powell said good management of players and the introduction of new ones will be high on the agenda. The coach needs to replace Albertus (Kwagga) Smith and Seabelo Senatla, who are joining the Lions and Stormers for the Super Rugby competition respectively.

"We need to find replacements for Kwagga and Seabelo and will get some youngsters in. In three weeks' time we will be in Las Vegas already, so we will have to manage the guys well in the next couple of weeks."

He points to the structures and systems in the squad to help them keep on achieving.

"It had to be a team effort and the whole squad contributed. That is important in our culture, that no one is more important than the other, but that we need to work together for each other. Everyone has a role to play and to make a contribution and we needed a good system effort. Nothing will change with regards to that."

Powell knows challenges awaits in the next six tournaments.

"We will now be looking for consistency for the remainder of the series because if we want to win it, we will need to be consistent," he said.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Korea Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Chile 0 0 0 1 10
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 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
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 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
Hong Kong