“We Are 70% On Potential At This Stage” – Sandile Ngcobo


The lifting of the Emirates Trophy on Saturday evening in Dubai was one thing, the knowledge that so many people worked so hard towards that moment was another, according to Springbok Sevens coach Sandile Ngcobo, after the Blitzboks’ 21-05 victory over Ireland in the final of only his second tournament as coach.

Ngcobo described the team’s latest triumph in the desert city as massively humbling, but also very satisfactory for the Blitzboks system. The tournament win also saw the Blitzboks jump to the top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings alongside Australia.

"I actually have no words,” the exuberant coach said after the win.

“This is massive for our system and so rewarding for the hard work we have done. It is also a reward for the massive fight inside this group of players,” added Ngcobo following the glitter of a fourth Dubai title (read full match reports here) on the trot for the Springbok Sevens, but a first for the recently-appointed Blitzboks coach.

"There are so many things in the lead-up to a tournament like this that people will never see - how a group of players get together and work so hard for each other in order to be ready when the battle starts. This win will mean so much for our system and justified the fight the guys showed for each other

“The effort we showed, that true example of fighting for each other, is what is making me so proud of this effort. I think we are 70% on potential at this stage, so there is still room for improvement and that will keep us honest," reckoned the coach.

Ngcobo said Friday evening's pool decider against Australia was as important as the Saturday playoffs because it gave his team the belief that they can compete against any team.

"They are such a composed team and another that really play for each other, so to trump them was a huge boost for us," he said.

"We needed to fight today, again, but we showed the courage of character of the badge and the jersey and that drove us. This win is for all that care about the team, our back room staff, our supporters, everyone."