Sport / Rugby

Sport Staff
2 minute read
6 Mar 2017
8:40 am

Even off-colour Blitzboks still too good for rest of the world

Sport Staff

Coach Neil Powell admits his side weren't firing on all cylinders yet still have enough class to easily clinch the Las Vegas title.

Rosko Specman was the Blitzboks' outstanding presence in Las Vegas. Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images.

This season’s World Sevens Series title is surely in the bag for the Blitzboks after they clinched the Las Vegas leg early on Sunday morning.

It’s South Africa’s fourth tournament win of the campaign and extends their lead on the standings to 24 points over Fiji – the side they beat 19-12 in the latest final.

There’s a very good reason why Neil Powell’s men look unbeatable.

This was their first tournament without stars Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith.

Also, the Blitzboks didn’t necessarily play all that well over the weekend.

And yet they were still too classy for any of their opposition.

“It was not our most clinical performance of the season at all, but we got the result and that is what was important. I would rather win ugly than lose pretty,” said Powell.

“The guys showed tremendous fighting spirit and always managed to come back and score the tries we needed to win the matches. They kept their focus and played very well in the second half of the matches, never giving up.”

South Africa were on the back foot early in the final when Masivesi Dakuwaqa dotted down as the Fijians tried to overwhelm their opponents physically.

But that testosterone also proved their downfall as they struggled to keep their discipline in check.

As a result, the Blitzboks hit back with a converted try for reliable stalwart Cecil Afrika before Rosko Specman wove his magic in scoring himself and setting up Chris Dry for his try.

Specman, usually used as an impact player in the second half, is rapidly becoming his side’s go-to guy in Senatla’s absence.

More importantly, rookie members Shakes Soyizwapi and Dylan Sage have already made their mark as the replacements for Senatla and Smith.

“They did very well in taking over the roles of those two stalwarts. We are pretty blessed with our depth in the squad. It is good for the players also to realise that the structure is a sound one and as long as they look after it, the better the structure will look after them,” said Powell.

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