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SA’s Powell scoops Coach of the Series award


Cape Town – Blitzboks coach Neil Powell was named Men’s Coach of the Series at the World Rugby Sevens Series Awards on Sunday night.

This came after Powell’s Blitzboks won the Paris Sevens to successfully defending their World Rugby Sevens Series title, edging Fiji by a meagre two points.

After receiving the award, Powell paid tribute to his team: “The mental focus and composure they showed was fantastic, all credit to the boys for believing in their success.

“We had everything to play for and the team did an incredible job, not just today but over the whole season. I also want to congratulate Fiji on an amazing season, they were phenomenal.”

OTHER AWARDS

Top try-scorer:

Carlin Isles followed in his USA team-mate Perry Baker’s footsteps by claiming the men’s series award with an outstanding 49 tries.

Rookie of the Year:

Eroni Sau is the second Fijian to be named Rookie of the Year after being a clear winner in the fan vote ahead of his compatriot Alosio Naduva and Australia’s Ben O’Donnell. The 28-year-old featured in all 10 rounds in his debut season, using his powerful physique to score 37 tries.

Fair Play Award:

This award, selected by the match officials, recognises the teams who showcase rugby’s values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.

The award went to Kenya following an exciting season which saw them reach the final in both Vancouver and Hong Kong.

Don’t Crack Under Pressure Award:

This inaugural award voted for by fans went to Ireland’s Mark Roche.

Roche’s kick with the final play of the match against England to snatch the bronze medal for invitational team Ireland at the London Sevens was a clear winner, beating Fijian Alosio Naduva’s last-gasp winning try against Australia in the Singapore Cup final and Matias Osadczuk’s break and calm head to send Renzo Barbier over for the winning try in Argentina’s Cup semi-final against South Africa in Las Vegas.

Impact Player:

The race to be named Impact Player of the Year went right down to the final matches.
Justin Douglas of Canada won the award which credits players for their all-round game including factors such as number of tackles, carries, line breaks and offloads as well as tries and points scored.

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