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· South Africans close the gap on frontrunners Fiji to one point

The Springbok Sevens moved to within one point of leaders Fiji at the top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings despite suffering a close-fought 19-14 loss against New Zealand at the inaugural Canadian Sevens tournament in Vancouver on Monday morning (SA time).

New Zealand led 14-7 at halftime and successfully starved the Blitzboks of scoring opportunities by slowing the pace of the game and controlling ball possession and territory. It was heartbreak for the Springbok Sevens, who suffered their only loss of the tournament in the Cup final following impressive performances in the pool and knockout stages.

Rosko Specman and Justin Geduld were the South African try scorers in the Cup final, while Sam Dickson, Kurt Baker and Lewis Ormond dotted down for the Kiwis. Continue reading

  • Cell C Sharks remain only unbeaten South African franchise
  • Toyota Cheetahs register valuable away-win in Singapore
  • DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions, Southern Kings suffer defeats

The Cell C Sharks on Saturday earned the favourable status as South Africa’s only unbeaten Vodacom Super Rugby franchise as they defeated the DHL Stormers, while the Toyota Cheetahs registered their first win of the season, and the Emirates Lions and Southern Kings suffered defeats.

The Emirates Lions suffered their first defeat of the season against the Highlanders in Dunedin, as mistakes at crucial times and lapses on defence allowed the hosts to register a convincing 34-15 victory. The first half was tight, but the hosts scored 21 points in the first 16 minutes of the second half to work their way to victory. The defeat for the Emirates Lions ended their four-match winning run away from home. Continue reading

Chris Dry will make his 50th tournament appearance for the Springbok Sevens this weekend at the HSBC Canada Sevens in Vancouver after the Blitzboks confirmed an unchanged 12-man squad for round six of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Ryan Kankowksi was initially earmarked to be drafted into the 12-man squad and although the former Springbok No 8 shrugged off a stomach ailment, he unfortunately hurt his ankle during training on Thursday, which has now ruled him out of action for the weekend.

Dry has scored 70 tries for the Springbok Sevens since making his debut in the 2009/10 season in Adelaide, Australia. Continue reading

SA Rugby on Tuesday marked International Women’s Day with the announcement that it has established two more women’s rugby Youth Training Centres (YTC’s), at the Griquas and South Western Districts rugby unions respectively, increasing the number of development centres to eight.

The first six training centres were established in April last year at the Blue Bulls, Limpopo Blue Bulls, Border, Eastern Province, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province, with the objective of growing the base of women’s players in the country and grooming them from a young age for the demands of rugby.

Through the YTC’s, players from Under-16 to Under-18 levels have access to weekly training sessions, conditioning and nutritional programmes, and they participate in scheduled matches to expose them to regular competition.

Continue reading

Six of the best school teams battle it out for T20 top spot

The annual Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge reaches its climax this month when six of the best school cricket teams in the country don the colours of their local franchise at the national finals, taking place at North West University from 18-21 March 2016.

The seventh season of the tournament saw 665 schools from across South Africa take part in regional and provincial finals, all with the hope of reaching the national finals and being named the nation’s best T20 school side. The schools representing their local franchises in the final phase of the tournament are as follows: Continue reading

Ex Stormers coach Allister Coetzee now coaching in Japan may be the new Bok coach with only 9 weeks.

Ex Stormers coach Allister Coetzee now coaching in Japan may be the new Bok coach with only 9 weeks.

This from timeslive.co.za:

Allister Coetzee is set to be named as the 13th post-isolation Springbok coach on April 1, just nine weeks before the team’s first assignment of 2016, giving him hardly any time to prepare.

After months of wrangling at the South African Rugby Union (Saru), the issue of the Bok coach will finally come to a head at its next general council gathering, scheduled for that date.

Normally, at this time of year, the Bok coach would have attended several Six Nations matches to have a close look at June’s opposition (in this case Ireland) and also held several one-on-one conversations and interactions with players he deems vital to his vision.

Formal meetings with players about their shortcomings and what the national coach is looking for them to improve or persist with would be the norm. None of that is currently happening and none will for another three weeks at least.

Saru’s employees have been distracted over the past two months due to constant media scrutiny of chief executive Jurie Roux over alleged financial irregularities when he was chairman of the Maties Rugby Club from 2002-2010. He is awaiting a court date to defend a R37-million civil action against him.

 

Full story here:

http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/sport/rugby/2016/03/06/Saru-cuts-it-fine-with-Coetzee-appointment

This from:

New Zealand has had a day to forget at the Las Vegas Sevens, knocked out of the Cup at the quarterfinal stage by South Africa.

Their 14-7 quarterfinal loss came after a shock 22-0 defeat to Kenya in their final pool match, relegating the joint series leaders to second in their pool.

Full story here:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sevens/77590297/kenya-shocks-new-zealand-in-las-vegas-sevens

Speedster Seabelo Senatla on fire with nine tries in four matches

The Springbok Sevens defeated New Zealand 14-7 in their Cup quarterfinal match on Sunday morning at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas to book a semi-final showdown with Australia at the USA event.

Seabelo Senatla scored two first half tries for the South Africans, who then delivered a huge defensive effort to restrict New Zealand to just one score in the second half.

Senatla has now scored nine tries in four matches at the three-day tournament, which is the fifth stop on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series circuit.

The other semi-final will be contested between the USA and Fiji, who currently share a three way tie on top of the World Series standings with South Africa and New Zealand.

In the other three quarterfinal matches, the USA defeated Kenya 26-14, Fiji powered to a 43-7 win over Japan and Australia edged Argentina by 26-12.

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