Blitzboks still No.1 after winning Malaga Sevens

South Africa managed a last gasp 24-17 win over old foe Argentina to claim their 29th consecutive victory on the World Sevens circuit, and their third consecutive title in this year’s series.

Picture: @Blitzboks/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - A try after the final whistle courtesy of Blitzbok Selvyn Davids sealed the Malaga Sevens title for the Springbok Sevens side on Sunday evening, solidifying their number one place on the World Series rankings heading into the second leg this weekend.

South Africa managed a last gasp 24-17 win over old foe Argentina to claim their 29th consecutive victory on the World Sevens circuit, and their third consecutive title in this year’s series.

Davids was also deservedly named ‘Player of the Final’.

Teammate Mfundo Ndhlovu was impressed with how they handled the pressure: “It’s these types of situations that we practice for, these are the moments that we live for. That’s why we practice so hard so that we can just execute when the pressure is on us.”

He continued: “[I'm] Grateful to have Selvyn Davids on our team and everyone else who just put in the effort and got us over the line.”

After playing for the first time since 2020 due to injury, Ndhlovu said it was good to be back on the field and knowing where he fitted in.

“The most important thing is having faith in each other, backing each other and just playing for one another. It doesn’t matter who plays, as long as you are on the field, you are representing everyone that is back at home, representing the whole of South Africa. We all know if you get your opportunity, you need to take it.”

This victory was impressive for many reasons, one of them being that it was coach Neil Powell’s team's fifth tournament win on the trot, and he said he was incredibly proud of the system.

“It’s all the people behind the scenes that is doing the hard work to make sure that we have the players on the field and to make sure we keep on raising the bar and setting the standard for ourselves.”

News that came in on Monday ahead of the second leg of the Spain Sevens in Sevilla, were that captain Siviwe Soyizwapi has been ruled out due to an injury he picked up in one of their pool games. He will be replaced by 23-year-old Shaun Williams.

Impi Visser will take over the captaincy for the fourth tournament of the series.

Williams was part of the squad that won the previous four titles after making his debut in Vancouver and then played in Edmonton and Dubai as well.

Powell said with the changes in the squad were things they needed to work on: “It’s important for us to have a look at our games, obviously see in what areas we can improve in and also take the positives out of it. I think there’s quite a few positives, but there’s also a lot of things that we can do better next weekend.”

The Blitzboks will again play in Pool A of the competition, this time against USA and Spain. World Rugby has indicated that due to Fiji's continued absence due to COVID, only 15 teams will play in Seville, handing the Pool A teams a bye in the process.