Marius Schoeman, who coached the SA Under-18 Sevens team, was a delighted man after his team cruised through the Capricorn Group Sevens Rugby Tournament in Windhoek to secure the title for the third successive year.
The fact that the team met for the first time last Wednesday made the victory even sweeter for Schoeman, whose charges won all six of their matches, with an impressive 294 points scored and only 17 conceded.
The SA U18s kicked off the tournament with a superb 41-0 victory against the Barbarians on Friday and they built on this with two more comprehensive victories – 54-7 over Zimbabwe and 35-0 against the hosts, Namibia, later in the day.
They maintained this fine form on Saturday to topple Germany 44-5 before out-classing Botswana by a massive score of 91-0.
These victories earned them a place in the final against Germany, and while the opposition tried hard to make their presence felt, they were outplayed by the South Africans, who registered a 29-5 victory in the end.
Schoeman said they were very happy to defend the title in Windhoek.
“The way the guys implemented the game plan was particularly pleasing, and that was more important to me than the win,” said Schoeman.
“It is always great to win tournaments such as these, but the main goal remains to develop young players so that we can prepare them for our flagship team, the Blitzboks, one day.
“We only conceded three tries in the tournament and we registered our second-highest score ever in the match against Botswana. It was also pleasing to see the character the players showed in the final.”
With the Blitzboks’ also in action in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver this weekend, Schoeman said the team dedicated their performances to the senior side.
“The boys got together and decided they were part of the Springbok Sevens family, and said they are playing for the senior team, which was particularly special,” Schoeman said. “The fact that the Springbok Sevens performed well last night with a handful of junior players also showed these players where they can be in the next few years.”
SA Under-18 Sevens Capricorn Group Sevens Rugby Tournament results:
Friday, 8 March
SA 41-0 Barbarians
SA 54-7 Zimbabwe
SA 35-0 Namibia
Saturday, 9 March
SA 44-5 Germany
SA 91-0 Botswana
SA 29-5 Germany (Final)
Issued by SA Rugby Communications