The SA Under-18 Sevens team emulated the senior Springbok Sevens when they also clinched the gold medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa in the early hours of Friday morning.
The South African boys won gold after their 31-20 defeat of Australia in the final, played in simmering heat on South Pacific Island. They finished the Games unbeaten after wins over Singapore (61-0), Namibia (46-0), England (19-14) and hosts Samoa (29-0).
The Springbok Sevens are the reigning Commonwealth Games champions after their gold medal success in Glasgow last year.
SA U18 Sevens team manager, Marius Schoeman, was pleased with the performance of the team and said he is very glad that they could achieve their goal – and that was to go one step further than the silver medal won at the previous edition of the tournament in the Isle of Man, where South Africa lost to England in the final.
Paul Delport, a former Springbok Sevens star and current coach of the successful SA Sevens Academy team, coached the team in Samoa.
Schoeman praised the performance of the squad: “The majority of the squad consists of players who did very well for the SA Schools team in the recent Under-18 International Series against quality opposition. Although we won’t have much time together before we flew to Samoa, we were always confident that the boys would perform well.
“Taking into account that the boys only got together again just two days before our marathon trip from South Africa to Samoa, then I really think that we can be proud of our boys. Our first pool match against Singapore went extremely well and we also used that match to try different combinations. We grew stronger with every match and the fact that we got the better of Australia in the final, said a lot. The Aussies knocked out a very strong Fijian team coached by their senior coach, Ben Ryan,” explained Schoeman.
The gold medal winning squad arrives back in South Africa on Monday.
SA Sevens Under-18 team who clinched the gold medal the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa
– provincial union and high school in brackets:
1. Manie Libbok (SWD, Outeniqua)*
2. Embrose Papier (Blue Bulls, Garsfontein) *
3. Francois Agenbag (Free State, Grey College)
4. Curwin Bosch (Eastern Province, Grey College) *
5. Heino Bezuidenhout (Eastern Province, Daniel Pienaar) *
6. Stedman Gans (Blue Bulls, Waterkloof) *
7. Donovan du Randt (KwaZulu-Natal, Glenwood)
8. Hacjivah Dayimane (Golden Lions, Jeppe)*
9. Johan Visser (Western Province, Paarl Gymnasium)*
10. Damian Willemse (Western Province, Paul Roos)*
11. JC Pretorius (Pumas, Middelburg)
12. Mfundu Ndlovu (Pumas, Standerton)
Manager: Marius Schoeman (SARU)
Coach: Paul Delport (SARU)
*Indicates representation in the SA Schools squad
Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs