‘We kept on believing’: South Africa captain Siviwe Soyizwapi ecstatic at Singapore Sevens triumph

By Michael Hudson

South Africa Sevens captain Siviwe Soyizwapi was lost for words while trying to express his emotions after his side won the Singapore Sevens tournament.

The Blitzboks came from behind to beat Fiji 20-19 in the Singapore Sevens final to claim their second tournament win in the 2018-19 HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series.

South Africa were behind 19-0 with 5 minutes to play against Fiji, a side renowned for their physicality and experience. But three crucial tries for Kurt-Lee Arendse, Angelo Davids and Ryan Oosthuizen, with one converted and a penalty goal from Selvyn Davids ensured the Blitzboks lifted the Vancouver Sevens tournament.

Soyizwapi, who missed the final because of a knee injury said he was never in doubt the Blitzboks would turn the final around and praised the efforts of youngsters such as Kurt-Lee Arendse.

“The guys kept on believing in our structure and by doing so, their natural abilities came to the fore. They expressed themselves. I kept believing, this is what we were working for. It was incredible,” Soyizwapi was quoted saying by Sport24.

“The newer guys learned so much, but they also gave so much effort. We will all be better because of this experience.”

The tournament triumph means the Blitzboks can bury the ghost of their disappointing performance in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament where they finished seventh. The triumph also boosts the Blitzbok Olympic qualification hopes as it extends their lead over fifth placed England.

The top four teams at the end of the World Series gain automatic qualification to the Rugby Sevens event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games while the other teams will try to get a spot through the regional tournaments.

South Africa remain fourth in the HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series standings after eight tournaments and are 14 points clear of fifth placed England. The USA remain top of the series on 145 points with Fiji (142 points) and Newzealand (130 points) complete the top three.

South Africa Sevens will next be in action in London Sevens and have been drawn against Argentina, Canada and Japan in pool A of the Hong Sevens tournament. The London Sevens kicks off on May 25.

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