Blitzboks forward and stand-in captain Zain Davids says he’s happy with their performance against Fiji in the final at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday, and how could he not be?
BLITZBOKS forward and stand-in captain Zain Davids says he’s happy with their performance against Fiji in the final at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday, and how could he not be?
The South Africans were absolutely sensational as they put in a flawless performance in the final to hammer the double Olympic champions 31-7, scoring five tries to one.
They led 17-0 at the break, and while they went into the final without regular skipper Siviwe Soyizwapi – who didn’t play against Scotland either – you’d have never said that they had any kind of injury issues over the weekend.
But they did, and also played the final without Ronald Brown, who was injured in the semi-final win over Australia earlier in the day.
Davids, who took over the captaincy, said: “I have a little bit of mixed emotions at the moment, but mostly I’m happy as we came out here and gave our all, and I think we can be very happy with our performance against a great team like Fiji.
“When Shakes got injured, I had to take over the captaincy and I was happy to do that, because I know the guys support me, but I also knew that in this team you don’t really have to be a captain as you have a bunch of guys behind you that’s helping and supporting you.”
The Blitzboks were unbeaten at the Coventry Stadium, swiftly dealing with Malaysia, Tonga and Scotland during the pool stages and going on to defeat Australia in the final-four.
Fiji of course claimed silver, while New Zealand took bronze and Australia and Samoa placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
South Africa also won the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Springbok Women’s Sevens team, meanwhile, claimed seventh place after a comprehensive 52-0 victory over Sri Lanka on Sunday evening.
Australia beat Fijiana in the women’s gold medal match by 22-12, while New Zealand took bronze with a 19-12 win over Canada.
The SA Women lost to women’s Sevens giants Australia and Fijiana in Pool B on Friday and travelled to England without a number of regulars, who were on tour with the national Fifteens team in Japan.
They improved their position from the 2018 tournament on the Australian Gold Coast by one spot, which was something coach Paul Delport was proud of: “We don’t play against top-class opposition, and playing at these international competitions will be the only way to improve.
“Lots of lessons learnt, including a general understanding of what needs to be done at tournaments such as this one. But I was very proud of the ladies, they were incredibly brave considering six of them had never played sevens before and seven made their international debut.
“All things considered, I’m happy as we got incrementally better and our understanding of the game has improved, which will only happen by playing at this level.”