The Blitzboks' greatest performance

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 07:25

EXCLUSIVE: Finding themselves 0-19 down at half-time of their quarterfinal match against Australia at the Vancouver Sevens, the Blitzboks pulled off a remarkable comeback that will go down in the annals of Sevens history.

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Coach Neil Powell took a relatively inexperienced squad to the sixth leg of the World Sevens Series and despite falling to Fiji in the semi-final, they still managed to claim third place to retain their overall lead.

"That fightback in the second half against Australia in a quarterfinal must be one of the greatest performances ever," Anton van Zyl said.

Dylan Sage played an instrumental role in turning the result around, scoring the final try to secure a 24-19 victory. His performance throughout the leg saw him being named in the Dream Team.

"I must be honest, I've never been a big fan of Dylan Sage, I've always had my doubts about him but how was his performance in that game. He smashed okes, made two turnovers in about two or three minutes.

"The amount of new faces was unbelievable and to still put in a performance like that. Comebacks like that only happen with teams that are confident and have experience. That team [that played in Vancouver] doesn't necessarily tick all the boxes to make a comeback like that and to be able to do that is seriously impressive," Morgan Newman said.

The Late Tackle team paid tribute to the work being done in Stellenbosch by Powell and his coaching team.

"It just shows what Neil Powell is doing back home. He is building a squad of players and he is clearly doing something right with the Academy to be able to pull up guys like he has," Newman added.

"He's [Powell] got a nice coaching mix - Paul Delport was in the Academy setup, Marius Schoeman, and they are all on the same page. That's the crucial thing here and a good example for any replication at full national level and - my favourite thing - a succession plan," Howie Kahn added.

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