Blitzbokke dominate Wellington 7s

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Original Content on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:48
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The South African Sevens team dominated the HSBC Wellington Sevens on the weekend, by not only winning the tournament but also setting new records and topping a number of the stats.

The Blitzbokke had a flawless run on day one, beating Japan 35 – 0, Australia 28 – 0 and Fiji, who they met again in the final, 31 – 12.

They eased passed France in the Cup Quarter final, 45 – 0, to set up a Semi final against Canada which they also won comfortably 21 – 5 to ultimately set-up a Cup Final against Fiji.

Seabelo Senatla broke the South African try-scoring record when he scored his 180th try to put his team in the lead after Fiji opened the scoring minutes earlier. The teams went into the half-time break with South Africa leading 7 – 5.

Rosco Speckman extended that lead seconds after he came on as a replacement in the second half followed by another two tries from Ruhan Nel to secure a well deserved 26 – 5 win at the end.

The win means that South Africa extends their lead on the World Series log to 63, 12 points more than Fiji who are on 51. England is on 49 followed by Scotland on 44 and New Zealand on 39 after 3 Rounds.

Apart from Senatla breaking the all time South African try-scoring record, he was also named HSBC Player of the Final. The previous holder of this record was Fabian Juries who scored 179 tries.

This weekend’s win was also the first for coach, Neil Powell, although he has won the Wellington tournament as a player in 2002.

South Africa also had the best tackle completion rate, 195 (19 missed), which gave them 80%. Werner Kok made the most tackles, 60.

South Africa also scored the most points of the tournament 184, which included 28 tries. Sanatla scored 8 of the 28 and is also the leading try scorer of the series on 23.

The 45-0 win over France in the Cup quarterfinal is the biggest winning margin in the Cup quarterfinals in the series this far.

The six wins in Wellington also resulted in the Blitzbokke winning 27 of their last 30 matches on the circuit.

South Africa will be in Pool A along with England, Kenya and Japan for next weekend’s HSBC Sydney Sevens.


  • Fantastic effort and proud of these guys.

    I’m keen to see how Senatla goes in the 15′s. I hope for the Boks sake he takes to it well and pushes for a position in the Bok squad, it’s about time someone pushed Habana for that 11 jersey.

    On another note I’d love to see Werner Kok play outside centre. His tackling is good and obviously has good pace and hands.

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.01.17 12:59:17 by Hulk Reply
    HulkSuper Rugby player
  • What truly amazes me is that you have our 7s side based in Stellies so access to their training programs etc is fully accessible yet there is such a difference if you look at the conditioning, handling,tackling technique , decision making etc of the 7s players compared to the 15 a side players we have in this country. Surely our top 15s players should at a minimum be as conditioned and have the same handling and tackling skills of these 7s guys. Clearly sharing of information are swear words in SA rugby landscape

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.01.17 13:04:19 by SheldonK Reply
    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • The fact that they kept 3 opponents scoreless and that only Fiji managed more than 5 points against them (in the group round) speaks volumes about this team’s attitude. They seem to be in a really good space right now. Congrats on the tournament win Blitzbokke!

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.01.17 13:10:31 by vanmartin Reply
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    vanmartinAssistant coach
  • @SheldonK (Comment 2) : Your raise some really good points here. Interesting that the inverse of this situation (to a degree at least) seems to be the case for the Kiwis.

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.01.17 13:16:10 by vanmartin Reply
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    vanmartinAssistant coach
  • @vanmartin (Comment 4) : It never used to be with the Kiwis but ever since the Olympics the NZ attitude towards 7s has changed. The team selection etc seems to be geared towards them building up some youngsters etc and then really putting emphasis on the 7s when its an Olympic year. &s has become an olympic sport like athletics and swimming in that you dont see much effort in between olympic cycles.

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.01.17 13:23:14 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • 22 points conceded throughout the whole tournament, playing the maximum games possible, must be some sort of record as well.

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.01.17 14:05:36 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 6) : I think we set a brilliant example of how your defense is just as important as scoring tries, especially in a format that’s mainly associated with the latter, great stuff from them!

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.01.17 14:26:36 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
  • @Quintin (Comment 7) : Exactly.

    Most of Munster’s reversal of fortune is attributed to Rassie and he’s obviously a very capable guy, so credit where it’s due. But I think the swiftness of said reversal is in no small part due Rassie’s recruitment of Jacques Nienaber as defense coach. I’m still a little upset about Omar’s departure at the Sharks. A proper defence will create attacking opportunities.

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.01.17 15:36:48 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 5) : Seems about right.

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.01.17 15:43:57 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 8) : Yep, and in report I read Rassie was touted as willing to take up the Bok job with the condition that its on a 5 year contract and that Nienaber is also given a contract. Nienaber would have made a hell of a difference to AC Bok sides if only he had been willing to take him on board when he could have.

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.01.17 16:03:01 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Well done, Blitzbokke. That was super impressive…

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.01.17 17:08:13 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @vanmartin (Comment 8) : Exactly, like in the 2007 WC our defense was awesome but we scored some beautifull tries.

    @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 10) : If they do get him to leave(however unlikely) and come back to SA I wonder how they would get him out of his contract at Munster?

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.01.17 18:03:22 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
  • @vanmartin (Comment 8) : Omar really screwed us over.

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.01.17 19:40:11 by GreatSharksays Reply

    Assistant coach
  • @Hulk (Comment 1) : must say I was also thinking that Kom must play 13!

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.01.17 20:20:14 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 14) : I’d love to see him and Senatla combine as the 13/11 in the Stormers backline to see what they can do. I like to think it’d be a very dangerous combination.

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.01.17 21:47:45 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
  • @Hulk (Comment 15) : think it will be tougher for Senatla as there’s some big wings around. He will have to work hard on defence.
    Think Kok is going to have a big season!

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.01.17 22:16:17 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 16) : It rarely works out that a 7′s player has the same success in the 15′s and vise versa but I hope for Senatla and the Boks sake he is able to adapt and be as lethal. Can’t say I know much about Senatla’s defensive capabilities but I hope it is part of his game that doesn’t let him down.
    As for Kok isn’t he totally committed to 7′s this year?

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.01.17 07:29:52 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
  • Like the commentator said. The Blitzbokke… a true beacon of light in SA Rugby. Well done too them and thank you for making me proud of the green and gold again. Although they have not really disappointed me the last few seasons either. They seem to be a pretty consistent outfit.

    Apart from coaching how does the mind set of the 7′s differ from the 15′s? They just seem to be a far happier camp. Is it due to playing together more often?

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.01.17 08:15:41 by Farlington Reply

    FarlingtonSuper Rugby player
  • @Farlington (Comment 18) : I think its tough to compare environments as the 7s guys basically eat,sleep, train together every day in their Stellies base. Its also why frequent Bok camps like the 2 day camp the All Blacks just had are so important in order to build a good environment and combinations. The Boks basically rock up just before and hope by some miracle things work out. Is it such a surprise in this professional age that its not working…

  • Comment 19, posted at 31.01.17 08:23:37 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @SheldonK (Comment 19) : I thought it had something to do with the time spent together. I wish SARU can grow a backbone and just make the call already. Like you say the AB already had a training camp and that is why they are so far ahead of anyone else.

  • Comment 20, posted at 31.01.17 08:46:30 by Farlington Reply

    FarlingtonSuper Rugby player
  • @Farlington (Comment 20) : That new Stormers skills coach, the new zealander, put it perfectly when he said we are so far off the mark in terms of being professional in this country. We are still very much amateurs that get paid well.

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.01.17 09:17:18 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @SheldonK (Comment 21) : I’m very interested to see what difference he will make for them or if he will have an impact on how they play. If the Stormers start offloading like the NZ teams and suddenly have a flow to their game it would be embarrassing to our local coaches I bet especially seeing that they weren’t really that type of team in the past.

  • Comment 22, posted at 31.01.17 09:51:12 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
  • @Quintin (Comment 22) : I think he will make a difference…how quick and how big the difference will be remains to be seen as it will probably require him breaking old habits etc. People often forget that we do have very talented players in this country…BUT what lets us down is our decision making and skills under pressure. improve those 2 aspects and you will see a massive improvement in the short term

  • Comment 23, posted at 31.01.17 09:55:54 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @SheldonK (Comment 23) : I agree, we certainly have the players to use proper sets of skills in their play and I feel another aspect we are lacking in addressing that is quality skills training from a younger age level at schools. They predominantly rely on size in school rugby and I would like to see that change. I’m definitely going to keep a close eye on the Stormers loose play this season.

  • Comment 24, posted at 31.01.17 10:02:27 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
  • @Quintin (Comment 24) : Relying on size at schools, especially primary schools is never going to change until you stop keeping score-which wont happen. Size doesnt really have an impact by the time you hit first team level at high school. Our youngsters do have incredible skills and abilities…but making the right decision to use the which skill when is severly lacking.

  • Comment 25, posted at 31.01.17 10:05:38 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @Hulk (Comment 17) : no also going to play Super rugby so this week will be his last tournament until Super rugby is done.

  • Comment 26, posted at 31.01.17 10:29:04 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    JDAssistant coach
  • @Farlington (Comment 18) : just remember it’s easier to be happy when you’re winning.
    A possibility as to why the 7′s is doing better is there’s no provincialism the BlitzBokke is their only team so they only have one coach and thus one playing style.

  • Comment 27, posted at 31.01.17 10:35:25 by JD Reply
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    JDAssistant coach
  • @SheldonK (Comment 25) : Agree on your last sentence hence I’m saying if they get the proper training from a younger age they will be more comfortable to use those skills at the right times but as you said especially in primary schools(and to an extent the 1st couple years in high school) their reliance on size won’t change which is hindering their skills development.

    Is anyone going to the warm up match this weekend? Some updates from there would be appreciated since it’s most likely not going to be broadcasted.

  • Comment 28, posted at 31.01.17 10:36:53 by Quintin Reply

    QuintinSuper Rugby player
  • @Quintin (Comment 28) : The lack of decision making is partly due to the size thing as you say but its also mainly a consequence of rigid coaching and players only allowed to do certain things in the various situations. Coaches empowering kids from a younger age to make decisions for themselves will have many good knock on effects

  • Comment 29, posted at 31.01.17 11:20:25 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @JD (Comment 26) : What great news. Wish him all the best.

  • Comment 30, posted at 31.01.17 11:36:29 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
  • @SheldonK (Comment 21) : Interesting point ,but remember John Mitchell was fired from the Lions because he wanted the players to practice harder, and Jake white’s first mistake at the Sharks was when he insisted that the players kept office hours.
    I think thats the type of unprofessional attitude he is talking about.Wonder how long he will last

  • Comment 31, posted at 31.01.17 11:49:53 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : You are bang on the mark there. Too much player power currently exists. In an interview Feeny, new WP skills coach, goes on to say that Sa players are very talented and train hard during team practices but very few if any are willing to put in the time after team practice to work on individual skills etc.

  • Comment 32, posted at 31.01.17 12:11:58 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
  • @Hulk (Comment 30) : no not great news he’s playing for Stormers!!! ;-)

  • Comment 33, posted at 31.01.17 15:28:37 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 33) : That was in January when I was still wearing my green and gold glasses. It’s February now and I’ve woken up with my Black and White shades :cool:

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.02.17 07:37:26 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
  • @Hulk (Comment 34) : hahaha ja ok ;-)

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.02.17 13:49:36 by JD Reply
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