Springbok Sevens captain Frankie Horne said the tweaks the team made to their defence played a major role in their USA Sevens success on Monday morning in Las Vegas.
To listen to reaction from Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu, captain Frankie Horne and Paul Delport following their tournament victory in Las Vegas, click here. Audio file courtesy of the IRB.
South Africa shrugged off a poor performance in Wellington a weekend earlier to win in Las Vegas, beating current series leaders New Zealand by a comprehensive 40-21 in the Cup final. It was the BlitzBokke's biggest score against their arch-rivals. They also jumped from fourth to second place on the HSBC Sevens World Series log with 73 points.
According to Horne, the players showed a huge amount of character and fighting spirit to bounce back in brilliant fashion in Las Vegas, where they finished unbeaten despite two crunch matches against Samoa in the semi-finals and New Zealand in Cup Final.
Horne, who played in his 46th consecutive World Series tournament, led from the front as always and was one of the most influential players on the field for the Springbok Sevens.
“We made some tweaks to our defence after the disappointment of last week and I’m just so glad that it worked out well for us,” Horne explained after their thrilling win.
“This win means such a lot. We put a huge amount of effort into our training back in Stellenbosch, but that is no guarantee for success. With the amount of injuries we had, we were just so determined to bounce back.
“The landscape of Sevens rugby are moving because of the inclusion into the 2016 Olympic Games and all the teams are feeling it at the moment. There are a lot of upsets nowadays and the bigger teams don’t have it their own way anymore.
“I’m just so delighted for the boys that we could win in Vegas, especially for the young guys because some of them will leave us shortly to join the SA Under-20 (to prepare for the Junior World Championship in June in France),” added Horne.