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Blitzbokke

BlitzbokkeThe Springbok Sevens team will soon start the next phase in their pursuit of Olympic silverware after they stunned the New Zealand team in the final at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games at the weekend.

The South African team made history by beating the All Blacks for the first time since Rugby Sevens were introduced as one of the sporting codes in 1998.

“It is an important tournament win for us as a Springbok Sevens team. This will mean a lot for us going into the next season and going into the Olympics in 2016,” Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell said at the team’s arrival in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“It is always great to beat the All Blacks in a final and it was a tough one, the guys really worked hard to win that one. Credit to my boys.”

“It is an honour and a privilege to represent your country and to win in the Commonwealth games is special and means a lot to us.”

The South African team captured the imagination as they played with unbridled vigour throughout the campaign.

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Commonwealth Games 2014South AfricaThe Commonwealth Games was underway and the first Rugby games of these games were on Saturday 26 July 2014.

All games were played at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow.

South Africa won the Gold Medal, New Zealand the Silver, Australia the Bronze!

Before the Final of these Games, New Zealand had not lost a single Commonwealth Games Sevens game… well, that record no longer stands.

The new Commonwealth Games Gold Medal Champions are South Africa’s Blitzbokke… for 4 more years!

It was a tough and physical Final, and New Zealand still deserve their plaudits for being the premier Sevens side in World Rugby.

Herewith the Fixtures & Results:

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Bryan Habana

Bryan Habana – On standby for Blitzbokke duty

Toulon have released South Africa winger Bryan Habana to play for the Blitzbokke at the Commonwealth Games.

Habana had previously been named in the original squad to compete in Scotland before the club decided to prevent him from participating.

However, Toulon have now announced that the 97-times capped flyer has been released to compete in the tournament before he links up with the Springboks to play in The Rugby Championship.

Schalk Brits is the other big name who won’t be featuring in the competition, after his release was denied by Saracens.

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BlitzbokkeSASCOC have confirmed enforced late changes to the rugby sevens squad to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Cheslin Kolbe, the Western Province and Stormers speedster, has been withdrawn by Western Province due to a knee injury.

Warrick Gelant was due to replace Kolbe but was injured at the weekend and will undergo surgery this week. This sees Mark Richards, a member of the gold-medalling SA sevens team at the World Games in Colombia last year, coming in as a late replacement.

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Bryan Habana

Bryan Habana

Schalk Brits

Schalk Brits

 

The Springbok Sevens team’s hopes of winning a medal at the Commonwealth Sevens could well have been given a blow if indications that Springbok fifteens stars Bryan Habana and Schalk Brits may have to be forced to withdraw by their respective leagues.

While both Brits’ Saracens club and Habana’s Toulon club have given them the go-ahead to be selected for the Games, it seems now that the Premiership and Top14 may well order both to withdraw as the Games falls within the prescribed off period for European rugby.

As both leagues stipulate a strict four week rest period for players during the off season, it is unlikely they will change their minds and Blitzbok coach Neil Powell may well be forced to look elsewhere to bolster his team.

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Neil Powell

Neil Powell

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell expressed his satisfaction following the successful defence by his team of the Roma Sevens tournament in Rome, Italy over the weekend.

The South Africans won the tournament in convincing fashion to retain the title they won as part of their 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens preparations last year.

Participation this time around was in anticipation of the Commonwealth Games in Scotland next month.

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Bryan Habana

Bryan Habana

Schalk Brits

Schalk Brits

Cornal Hendricks

Cornal Hendricks

Cheslin Kolbe

Cheslin Kolbe

Warren Whiteley

Warren Whiteley

Springboks Bryan Habana and Schalk Brits have been included in the South African sevens rugby squad for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Regular Blitzbokke coach Neill Powell will take charge of the squad, which features several household names in South African rugby.

Apart from Habana and Brits, experienced sevens campaigner Cornal Hendricks was also included. He made his Springbok debut in the 15-man code against the World XV last week.

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Neil PowellHaving steered the Springbok Sevens to a credible second place on the HSBC Sevens World Series, Blitzboks coach Neil Powell admitted that he needs to improve the depth of his squad to make them more competitive next season.

Powell took over the reigns as head coach of the Springbok Sevens when the 2013/14 season started in October last year. His immediate aim was to install a good level of consistency, and to reach the semi-final of each of the nine World Series tournaments.

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Mark RichardsCecil AfrikaVersatile back Mark Richards has replaced Cecil Afrika in the Springbok Sevens squad for the penultimate HSBC Sevens World Series tournament next weekend in Glasgow, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Thursday.

Afrika was not considered for the Blitzboks’ 12-man squad to Scotland because he is still completing his rehabilitation at Stellenbosch following the groin strain he suffered in Hong Kong.

Depending on his progress, he might be considered for selection should the need arise to call up a player for the London Sevens (10 – 11 May).

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South AfricaHSBC Sevens World SeriesThe Springbok Sevens lost 33-26 to Fiji in a thrilling, epic Tokyo Sevens Cup Final after the Pacific Islanders managed to score a brilliant and trademark long range winning try with just second remaining on the clock.

However, despite the disappointment of losing their tournament title in what must surely rank as one of the all-time great HSBC Sevens World Series Cup Finals, the South Africans did manage to regain the lead on the overall standings.

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South AfricaHSBC Sevens World SeriesProlific try scorer Seabelo Senatla returns to the South African squad for the next two tournaments of the IRB Sevens World Series – in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

However, playmaker Cecil Afrika will miss the trip to the Far East because of a troublesome hamstring.

Steven Hunt replaces Afrika, while Senatla comes in for Sampie Mastriet, who is on Super Rugby duty with the Bulls, for the two changes to the 12-man squad that lost to New Zealand in the Wellington Cup Final last month.

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South AfricaJean de VilliersSpringbok captain Jean de Villiers on Wednesday became only the sixth player to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year more than once, while Eben Etzebeth was named the Young Player of the Year for 2013 for the second successive season at a glittering ceremony at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

De Villiers led the Springboks to 10 wins in 12 Tests in 2013 and scored five tries in the process following an outstanding Vodacom Super Rugby campaign for the DHL Stormers. His first-class record now stands at 254 matches with 91 tries scored.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe New Zealand leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, in Wellington, was played this weekend.

The South African Blitzbokke started their bid to win a 3rd Tournament in a row in fine fashion, by beating Wales 26 / 0 and beating Portugal 27 / 5.

The Blitzbokke’s next challenge was England, and the game was won by England, by 19 / 5. Both England and South Africa advance to the Cup Quarters, England played Samoa and the Blitzbokke played Australia.

New Zealand comfortably beat France, 47 / 0 in the last game of Day 1, after earlier losing to Fiji, but also advanced to the Cup Quarters, where they played against Canada.

At the 2nd Day of the tournament, New Zealand and South Africa advanced all the way to the final, with Fiji beating England in the 3rd place play-off.

New Zealand won the final by 21 / 0 against the South African Blitzbokke, capitalizing on mistakes and shutting the Blitzbokke out in the 2nd half.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe South African Blitzbokke Sevens team head into the weekend’s Wellington Sevens in New Zealand looking for a 3rd successive tournament title in what would be a first for the South Africans.

The last time any team could win 3 consecutive tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series was in 2010 when Samoa took the honours in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong.

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South AfricaThe injured Springbok Sevens duo of Seabelo Senatla and Rosko Specman will return to South Africa and will be replaced by Jamba Ulengo and Kwagga Smith for the Wellington Sevens on 7 – 8 February, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Thursday.

The two wings sustained ankle injuries during last weekend’s Las Vegas Sevens, where the Bok Sevens team won the tournament title for a second successive year. Smith and Ulengo will join the squad on Saturday.

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South AfricaHSBC Sevens World SeriesSouth Africa defended their Las Vegas Sevens successfully when they defeated New Zealand 14-7 in another dramatic and tense Cup final between the two rugby rivals in the early hours of Monday morning (SA time).

The teams were tied 7-all at halftime after Scott Curry had opened the scoring for New Zealand and Branco du Preez replied for the Springbok Sevens.

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South AfricaThe Springbok Sevens’ defence of their Las Vegas Sevens title started off on a powerful note as they ended day one without conceding a point.

Placed in a tricky pool alongside Wales, Canada and Kenya, the Blitzbokke placed their marker early on as they smashed Wales 43-0 in the opening game of the tournament and then followed it up with a comprehensive 29-0 win over Canada in the second game of their pool fixtures.

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Nelson Mandela Bay SevensThe South African leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, was held at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, takes place on 7 and 8 December 2013.

The tournament was played in emotionally charged circumstances after the death of beloved South African and world statesman, Nelson Mandela, who passed away in the night of 5 December 2013.

In these circumstances the open question was whether South Africa’s Blitzbokke could go one better than the previous tournament when they were beaten in the final by Fiji.

The question was answered… the South African Blitzbokke are the winners and title holders at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth!

Here are the Fixtures and Results:

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Nelson Mandela Bay SevensMaybe it’s fitting that the South African leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament of 2013 / 2014 takes place a couple of days after the passing of the world’s biggest ever statesman, Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) at the stadium named in his honor, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

It is the last sevens action in the HSBC Sevens World series of 2013.

The South African Blitzbokke will be eager to tribute this tournament to Madiba.

We bring you all you need to know about the 16 teams who will be vying for top honours in the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, the third round of the IRB Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth this weekend.

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Cornal HendricksProlific try scorer and Blitzbok stalwart, Cornal Hendricks, finally gets to don the Cheetahs jersey. The Toyota Cheetahs iniatially contracted Hendricks for this year’s Super Rugby, but a dispute arose with SARU, as Sevens coach Paul Treu wanted Hendricks for the Sevens circuit. It now seems that Hendricks’ wish of playing for the Cheetahs will come true.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has confirmed that Hendricks has signed a contract for the 2014 Super Rugby and Currie Cup season.

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Vuyo ZangqaSpringbok Sevens assistant coach Vuyo Zangqa will not renew his contract and will be stepping down from his current position with the South African team.

Zangqa was offered an extension on his contract, but has decided to pursue other career opportunities once his contract expires at the end of the month.

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Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 was held in Moscow, Russia between 28-30 June. It was the sixth RWC Sevens and the second comprising a men’s and women’s tournament, following the event in Dubai in 2009.

Before this tournament, the defending men’s champions were Wales. Australia were the inaugural women’s champions.

New Zealand’s MEN and WOMEN’s sides won this tournament, completing an impressive double.

 

New Zealand 33 / 0 England (men)

New Zealand 29 / 12 Canada (women)

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Seabelo SenatlaCheslin KolbeThe Springbok Sevens team were given a temporary setback as Junior Boks Seabelo Senatla and Cheslin Kolbe were unable to train with them in Moscow on Tuesday.

The duo, who joined the Blitzbokke on Monday night at their team hotel in the centre of Moscow, have been struggling after three weeks of hard rugby at the Junior World Championship in France and need some time to make the switch back to Sevens.

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Kyle BrownA fit-again Kyle Brown will lead the Springbok Sevens team into battle at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium next weekend when the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament takes place from 28-30 June.

Brown is one of three survivors of the team that reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 tournament that was held in Dubai, UAE. The others are Ryno Benjamin and Philip Snyman.

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