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Blitzboks want to keep try-scoring phenomenon on Sevens circuit

By Kim Ekin
Angelo Davids of Team South Africa goes over to score a try during the Men's Semi-Final match between Team Australia and Team South Africa on day three of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Coventry Stadium on July 31, 2022 on the Coventry, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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The Blitzboks admit that they are desperate to keep Commonwealth Games try-scoring phenomenon Angelo Davids playing the shortened form of the game.

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Davids – a product of the Stormers and Western Province – proved a devastating weapon for South Africa as they won gold at the games in Birmingham.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell praised all his players after the triumph but revealed he is hopeful that Davids will play Sevens full-time.

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Ten of the Blitzboks’ 34 tries were scored by Davids, who returned to the South Africa team after an impressive showing during the Carling Currie Cup season with DHL Western Province.

The 23-year-old scored hat-tricks in three games – the pool encounters against Malaysia and Scotland, and again in the semi-final against Australia – many of the five-pointers coming from the clever use of kicks, especially from Selvyn Davids.

“I think we must bring Angelo permanently back to sevens again,” said Powell when quizzed on Davids’ future. “Firstly, he’s an amazing human being and a great rugby player as well. He always gives 100 per cent effort and he’s really quick, and we know if we kick the ball in behind our opposition, he’s going to chase it to the best of his ability.

“He has really had an amazing tournament, just like the other 12 players as well; everybody played their part and I’m happy for each and every one of them.”

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Following their win, Powell admits the overriding emotion was relief after a couple of poor showings on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series circuit.

“I’m probably more relieved than anything else and really proud of the boys, they put in a massive effort – not only in the final against Fiji, but all six games over the weekend,” said Powell.

“It’s amazing to have won the gold medal again, like we did eight years ago in Glasgow, and especially after we finished fourth and didn’t win a medal at the previous Commonwealth Games in Australia, so there is a lot of emotions and the victory brought back memories of what happened in Glasgow in 2014.”

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“The guys worked tirelessly on defence, sticking to our systems and putting in a massive effort, especially against the bigger opponents,” he said.

“After the World Series tournament in London, we had to reset and re-evaluated our goals for the rest of the season and the last three tournaments, the Commonwealth Games, the Los Angeles Sevens and finally the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

“The guys really worked hard in the build-up to this tournament, and I’m glad they got rewarded for it, showing once again that although hard work doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, it’s part of success.

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