Springbok coach Peter de Villiers heaped praise on the Springbok Sevens team on Monday after Paul Treu’s men ensured South African rugby ended the year on a high with victory in the Emirates Airlines South African Sevens in George.
The Pretoria News reports that the victory followed the series-opening triumph in Dubai the previous weekend and gives South Africa an early 12-point lead in the IRB Series standings.
“Paul Treu’s team were undoubtedly the best at the tournament based on their fitness, skills, composure, versatility, tenacity, decision making and perseverance, amongst other things,” said de Villiers.
“The team’s great start to the 2008/2009 IRB series is testimony to the impact of the Sevens excellence centre that has been established in Stellenbosch.
“This was a master stroke and the benefits are clearly evident. This is by far the fittest Springbok Sevens team that I have seen.
“To play a tough quarter-final against a good England side, follow that up with a superb win over Fiji in the semis and then come from behind to beat New Zealand in the final takes some doing. That is where the team’s great character played a major part.”
The IRB Series triumphed followed a record-breaking victory over England at Twickenham for De Villiers’ Springboks to send South African rugby into the festive season in high spirits.
“It has been a marvellous three weeks as our players and coaches have given us all a fantastic send off into the end-of-year break,” said Oregan Hoskins, the president of the South African Rugby Union.
“The year has had its trials but we end the season in a very good position with winning teams on the field and having worked through some important issues off it.
“I think South African rugby can be proud of what has been achieved in 2008 and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to 2009 and events such as the IRB Sevens Rugby World Cup, the Super 14 and the visit of the British and Irish Lions with tremendous excitement.”Tweet