Sunday, 28 May 2017
The SA Rugby Sevens Academy on Sunday won the Howard Hinton Sevens in Tours, France.
The Academy defeated theNew Zealand Select Sevens 7 – 22 in the Cup Final to round off a great week for SA Rugby’s Sevens programme.
Last Sunday, the Springbok Sevens team was crowned HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions and today the feeder system proved efficient as well, with the Academy side winning in Tours.
SA Rugby Sevens Academy manager, Marius Schoeman, was pretty pleased with the performance and determination of his squad.
“We played against a very good team from New Zealand in the final and won well, so it was pretty pleasing, even more so because we did it with such a young squad. It was their first tournament of the year, so they had to learn quickly,” Schoeman said.
The South Africans suffered a number of injuries at the tournament and entered the final with only nine fit players and without regular playmakers Dewald Human and Sandile Ngcobo, who was ruled out for action on the last day.
Human, Ngcobo and Marco Labuschagne joined the team in France after the last tournament in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London, where they represented the Blitzbokke, the overall series winners of the 2016/17 series.
“With the senior guys out, we had to rely on the young guys and they did not disappoint.
They made the step-up when it mattered. Also pleasing was the fact that the players already in our youth system, like JC Pretorius, Heino Bezuidenhout and Mfundo Ndhlovu, excelled again. They were part of the squad that won gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in 2015 and it is a complement to our structures to see their progress.”
Schoeman believes that a number of the players will be able to contest for places in the Blitzbokke squad in future.
“That is our mandate and I am pleased that we are doing exactly that,” he said.
The SA Sevens Academy played and won all of their matches in Tours, France.
Their results this weekend:
Results for Day1 (Friday, 26 May):
* Pool: SA Sevens Academy 36 – 5 Belgium 7s
* Pool: SA Sevens Academy 26 – 0 Seventise
Results for Day2 (Saturday, 27 May):
* Pool: SA Sevens Academy 38 – 5 Midi Pyrenees
# Cup QF: SA Sevens Academy 28 – 7 Free Sevens
Results for Day3 (Sunday, 28 May):
# Cup SF: SA Sevens Academy 10 – 0 Sevens Elite Cote Basque Landes
# Cup Final: SA Sevens Academy 22 – 7 New Zealand Select 7s
Congratulations to Mike Mavovana who was named Player of the Tournament: