With 66 days to go to the Kick off of the IRB World Sevens Series in Dubai, South Africa showed why they are currently on top of the Sevens world with an impressive display of power to win the inaugural Trustco Namibia Sevens. Day One went to plan for the Springboks, with the current World Series champions winning their group comfortably. The three other big guns at the tournament - Fiji, Samoa and Argentina - had their anxious moments that included a close win, a draw and a loss.
With 66 days to go to the Kick off of the IRB World Sevens Series in Dubai, South Africa showed why they are currently on top of the Sevens world with an impressive display of power to win the inaugural Trustco Namibia Sevens.
Day One went to plan for the Springboks, with the current World Series champions winning their group comfortably. The three other big guns at the tournament - Fiji, Samoa and Argentina - had their anxious moments that included a close win, a draw and a loss.
SA coach Paul Treu was happy with the display, which showed the strength of his squad and their ability to adapt to a game plan that seems likely keep them at the top of the international rankings.
The Springboks were too powerful for Namibia and Tunisia with the likes of Cecil Afrika and Reg Muller showing that their inclusion in the squad is condusive to Treu's march towards another IRB title.
The inaugural tournament in Windhoek proved to be an ideal opportunity for the international teams to start their preparations before the season opener in Dubai.
There were a few upsets on the first day of competition, which has become an integral part of Sevens rugby, and all bodes well for rugby's possible inclusion in the Olympics, a decision that will be made in less than 2 weeks.
Only a single try was scored against the Boks, who had wins of 26-5 over Namibia and 46-0 against Tunisia.
Fiji were given a fright by Spain, winning only 14-10 in Pool B but the shock of the tournament was the defeat of Samoa at the hands of Portugal (19-14). Both of these results show once again the depth that is now in the Sevens game worldwide with the two mediterranean countries making their presence felt.
It was at last years Dubai Sevens that Portugal announced itself on the world stage and they will be looking to move on to the next level in the coming season.
Argentina, also one of the world's leading teams, had to work hard taking the group of points difference after beating Uganda but only managing a draw against a spirited Zimbabwe side (19-19).
It's Day 2 that the more accomplished teams tend to get out of the blocks but in some cases it was a real struggle all weekend. In the Quarter-Finals Zimbabwe continued their good form from the day before defeating the Samoans.
Zimbabwe joined South Africa, Fiji and Argentina in the Semi-Finals. In the first game the South Africans dominated from the outset with Ryno Benjamin leading from the front. The Fijians never had the chance to get going and the Springboks went on to take a comfortable 28-0 win.
The 2nd Semi-Final was a rematch from Day 1 where the sides had battled out a draw. This time the Argentinians came out hard and took a 14-0 lead behind scores from Mariano Baud and Hernan Olivari. The spirited Zimbabwean team came right back at their esteemed opponents drawing level with tries from Japhat Ndebele and Tangai Nemadire before a try with the last play of the game by Gardiner Nechironga gave Zimbabwe a famous victory and a place in the final.
The Final was a very different story, the World Series Champions were just to slick, quick and powerful for their African neighbours and the Springboks ran out winners 61-14 to take the trophy. South African captain Mzwandile Stick was in great form, displaying a sublime sidestep, as he regularly cut through Zimbabwe’s defence. The rest of the side continued to lay on the pressure after the break and tries by Stick, Chase Minaar, Ryno Benjamin, Cecil Afrika and Reg Muller completed their emphatic victory. Afrika converted all but one off the nine tries for a personal tally of 21 points. Nemadire scored a consolation try and conversion for Zimbabwe.
Giving great pleasure to the home fans, Namibia took victory against Samoa in the Plate Final winning the game 24-14. The Bowl Final was won by Tunisia who beat Uganda 26-21
Results from Day 1
Namibia 22 Tunisia 19
South Africa 26 Namibia 5
South Africa 46 Tunisia 0
Fiji 43 Zambia 7
Spain 25 Zambia 12
Fiji 14 Spain 10
Zimbabwe 33 Uganda 5
Argentina 34 Uganda 0
Zimbabwe 19 Argentina 19
Portugal 22 Botswana 5
Samoa 31 Botswana 7
Portugal 19 Samoa 14
Cup Quarter Final:
South Africa-Spain 33-0
Cup Semi Final:
South Africa-Fiji 28-0