Snyman credits Blitzboks for comeback

Blitzboks coach Philip Snyman. | BackpagePix

Blitzboks coach Philip Snyman. | BackpagePix

Published Jun 25, 2024


Rugby Reporter

The Blitzboks finally qualified for the Olympic Games in Paris, but their road to medal glory is fraught by a pool that includes some of the big-hitters on the Sevens circuit this year.

The South African men’s Sevens team qualified for Paris by winning the Olympic repêchage by beating Great Britain in a tense final on Sunday in Monaco. The SA women’s Sevens team had already booked their place at the showpiece event.

The men will now prepare to face New Zealand, Ireland and Japan in the French capital, while the women have been drawn in Pool B of the tournament with Australia, Great Britain and Ireland.

It has been a torrid time for the Blitzboks this past season. They finished seventh in the Sevens Series and sixth in the Grand Finals in Madrid. They won the Dubai leg of the series but that was followed by a disappointing run of results.

The win in Monaco, then, and according to coach Philip Snyman, will install belief in the squad ahead of the Games.

“We had some bad months, yes, but the comeback is now complete,” Snyman explains.

“We got ourselves into the mess of having to qualify via repêchage, but credit to the way the players responded. We came here knowing that defence will be the key to success and only conceded three tries in six matches. The guys deserve a lot of credit for that,” Snyman said.

Afterwards team captain, Selvyn Davids, praised his troops and the management for a job well done.

“The guys really wanted this. We came here well prepared, with good confidence and a solid game plan. Credit to all our opponents, especially Great Britain, who really gave us a hard time in that final,” Davids said.

“We knew it would be a tough weekend, but the way we responded to everything our opponents threw at us makes me a very proud Blitzboks captain,” beamed Davids.

The Sevens’ tournaments at the Olympics will take place from July 24-27 for the men’s competition and July 28-30 for the women’s competition. South Africa’s best result at the Games in the discipline is a bronze medal at the Rio Games.


Men’s pools

Pool A: New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Japan

Pool B: Argentina, Australia, Samoa, Kenya

Pool C: Fiji, France, US, Uruguay

Women’s pools

Pool A: Canada, China, Fiji, New Zealand

Pool B: Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa

Pool C: Brazil, France, Japan, US

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