Brown makes 'no excuses' for Final defeat
HAMILTON SEVENS REACTION: BlitzBok captain Kyle Brown refused to make any excuses for his side's performance in Hamilton last weekend.
The BlitzBoks suffered a 17-24 defeat to Fiji in the Cup Final.
South Africa took an early lead when Albertus Smith scored, but a Fiji try from the restart levelled scores. Tries by Kyle Brown and Branco du Preez gave South Africa a 17-5 lead at the break. In the second half though, it was all Fiji, who scored three unanswered tries to snatch the New Zealand Sevens title away from the Blitzboks.
South Africa's Hamilton campaign was plagued with injuries.
They lost their captain, Philip Snyman, and senior player, Ruhan Nel, to injury after the Sydney Sevens and then Dylan Sage after Day One of the inaugural Hamilton event due to a concussion.
They also faced Fiji without the services of the injured Justin Geduld and Rosko Specman and had to play the final with only ten fit players.
However, Kyle Brown, who was stand-in captain in Hamilton, refused to make any excuses for the side.
Instead, the veteran praised the BlitzBoks for their great courage and expressed how proud he is of the side.
"We were right in it, but unfortunately we lost control of the game. Considering the tough week we had with injuries, we were still pleased with the outcome.
"We lost Philip and Ruhan (Nel) after Sydney, Kwagga rolled his ankle early in the week and then Muller (du Plessis) got injured shortly after his arrival in New Zealand. Branco du Preez only joined us at 01h00 on the morning of the tournament, and then Dylan Safe, Justin Geduld and Rosko Specman all got injured during the second day, which also did not help,"
"We have named these tours the ‘no excuses tours’, and this was a ‘no excuses weekend’.
"We had to dig really deep and I am proud of our effort. We will have to do so again come Las Vegas in a couple of weeks’ time. Eight points is a lead, but not one that we can bank on," said Brown.
Meanwhile, Werner Kok impressed all weekend in Hamilton, with some strong runs, try assists and a number of telling defensive interventions and was deservedly named in the traditional Dream Team afterwards.
Kok made the most tackles in Hamilton (27) and is leading the Blitzboks’ tackle count with 61 tackles this season. And although they will be losing players such as Albertus Smith, Seabelo Senatla and Tim Agaba to Super Rugby, for now, he sees it as an opportunity, rather than a challenge.
"The next four weeks will be tough, some players are injured and we are losing some star players, so it will be a good challenge for our system and depth," said Kok.
The team’s next assignment is the USA Sevens in Las Vegas from April 2-4.