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Blitzboks revel in belief, teamwork after Singapore victory

Ryan Oosthuizen, who scored the third try in the comeback, said the match will be an unforgettable memory for him.

The Blitzboks celebrate their come-from-behind victory over Fiji in the final of the Singapore Sevens tournament on 14 April 2019. Picture: @Blitzboks/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Blitzboks trailed 19-0 with five minutes left of the match against a physical and experienced Fijian side. This was before tries by Kurt-Lee Arendse, Angelo Davids and Ryan Oosthuizen injected hope into a beleaguered South African side. Thereafter Selvyn Davids, who already kicked a conversion, stepped up and added a penalty goal that pushed them into a 20-19 lead.

Interestingly it was also Selvyn Davids, who earlier in the half saved a certain try with a desperate tackle, who kicked the ball into touch in the final act and sent Blitzboks celebrations into overdrive.

Oosthuizen, who scored the third try in the comeback, said the match will be an unforgettable memory for him.

“I will always remember this match and the way we fought back. That is what the Blitzboks stand for, we never give up."

Oosthuizen added that the calmness of coach Neil Powell at halftime helped.

“He said we needed to trust the processes and that we needed to score first. It happened, and the win came because we executed the plan.”

Another youngster coming through the ranks, Impi Visser, who scored important tries against Samoa and the USA in the Blitzboks’ playoffs, admitted that there were some nervous moments.

“There was one time in the second half where we knocked the ball on and I thought ‘this is going to be tight’, but we never stopped playing and trying.

“This was just an awesome feeling and a huge thumbs-up for the players and our system. Everyone contributed, which made it even more special.”

The electric number six and Blitzboks catalyst Arendse, playing in only his third tournament, said it felt like he was still dreaming.

“Character and teamwork. We did not give up. We worked hard together, as a team, to get those tries. This is just lovely.”

Veteran Justin Geduld, who passed Fabian Juries and moved into the third spot for Blitzboks’ career points scored in the World Rugby Sevens Series, said the younger players deserved praise.

“They really kept going. We lost our captain, Siviwe Soyizwapi and leading try-scorer in Singapore, before the final and Angelo Davids, in only his second tournament stepped up and played very well.

“The younger guys who are part of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy train with us and hats off to the management and staff who prepare these players for moments such as these.”

Geduld took over the captaincy from Soyizwapi and rallied the troops in the second half.

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