Maybe 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.
The South African Blitzbokke and the other 15 international teams participating in this weekend’s Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens arrived at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on Monday evening.
The 16 teams arrived on two flights from Johannesburg, with the second flight about half an hour after the first flight.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament marks the last leg of the 2013 part of the 2013 / 2014 HSBC Sevens World series, to be resumed well into 2014.
The Dubai leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series was played, with Day 1 on 29 November and Day 2 on 30 November 2013.
Here are the Results & Fixtures.
Fiji won the Tournament against the Blitzbokke of South Africa, by 29 / 17.
The captains of the top four seeds – New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa – admit that they expect a tough test in this weekend’s Dubai Sevens.
The Springbok Sevens will aim to improve on their Gold Coast performance of last month when they play in the Dubai Sevens on Friday and Saturday. The tournament marks Round 2 of the HSBC Sevens World Series, which consists of nine tournaments worldwide.
Pumas speedster Rosco Speckman was this week added to the Springbok Sevens training squad in Stellenbosch.
The group is preparing for the next two legs of the IRB Sevens World Series – in Dubai and Port Elizabeth.
Springbok 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.
The first Tournament of the HSBC Sevens World Series of the 2013 / 2014 season happened at the Gold Coast, Queensland, at Skilled Park.
Here are the results of the Tournament:
The Gold Coast Sevens marks the start of the IRB Sevens World Series where Fiji will be determined to make it three in a row this weekend.
The defending Gold Coast Sevens champions line-up in Pool C against Wales, Canada and Portugal and captain Osea Kolinisau is confident they’ll complete their hat-trick at Skilled Park.
Neil Powell was announced as the new Blitzbokke coach on Saturday.
The former Blitzbokke captain will be taking charge as coach at the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia.
Sevens looks to be the big winner as New Zealand’s professional rugby players are set to receive a significant pay increase through the new collective employment agreement.
The New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association said today they had signed an agreement covering the professional game through to 2015.
Rugby 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)
New Zealand will be aiming to translate their world-beating form on the IRB World Series circuit into a title tilt at the World Cup Sevens in Moscow this weekend, with one eye on the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
The 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.
A 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.
It may not be a squad of superstars, but Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu can announce a squad of virtual allsorts to mould into a World Cup-winning team on Monday.
The European climax of the HSBC Sevens World Series kicked off in Scotland with Round Eight this weekend, the Glasgow Sevens at Scotstoun Stadium. The Tournament ran from Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 May.
With ONE more game to go, who will take the CUP, South Africa or New Zealand?
Well, that question was answered in Green and Gold… Blitzbokke take the Glasgow title, with a win by 28 / 21.
Fiji successfully defended its Hong Kong Sevens rugby title by coming from 19-0 down at halftime to beat Wales 26-19 in the final on Sunday.
South Africa’s Blitzbokke did their nation proud!
Going into the semi-final, they faced Samoa, who took them all the way to extra time before the golden goal by the Blitzbokke put South Africa in the final against New Zealand who was also taken into extra time by Fiji in their semi-final.
The final was a total demolition job by the Blitzbokke on New Zealand, with the Blitzbokke romping to 28 / 0 (4 converted tries) by halftime.
They kept their composure, scoring again after halftime, leading 35 / 0, before New Zealand scored 3 times in a gutsy effort to pull the score back to respectable levels against 1 final score by South Africa.
South Africa won in fine style, by 40 / 21.
South Africa made a solid start on day one of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas on Saturday morning (SA time) by winning both of their pool matches against Uruguay and Canada to qualify for the Cup quarterfinals with a match to spare.