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.
Powell took a squad with some fringe players and well as regulars on the HSBC Sevens World Series along, including senior playmaker, Cecil Afrika, who is on the comeback trail following injury. “Cecil came through the tournament well and l am pleased that he is on track for the Commonwealth Games. We managed his game time as he last played in Hong Kong in March, but I took confidence from his performance. The fringe players in the squad also showed up well. We had some decent opposition in the form of national teams such as Italy, Brazil and Georgia, so it was a good test for our players,” Powell said. The South Africans won all three pool matches on day one and kept on winning during the knock-out stages on day two.
The won the final 42-5 against 7 SIRS, an international invitational team, after beating Switzers Rugby 29-0 in the quarterfinal and Midi Olympique Froggies 24-7 in the semi-final. “The idea was to test our depth, play against some quality teams and try some new elements in our game. It all worked out fine,” Powell said. The team will now start preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.