The South African U18 boys' sevens team booked their place in the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in October after defeating Namibia 32-12 in the final of the African Youth Games in Algeria on Saturday.
The victory ensured that they advanced through the three-day tournament unbeaten, conceding only 17 points in their six matches.
The team, guided by coach Marius Schoeman, got their campaign off to a flying start on Thursday when they registered a comprehensive 38-0 victory against Burkina Faso in their opening match thanks to a solid display on attack and defence, and they built on this to defeat hosts Algeria 31-5.
They continued their fine form on Friday, as they overwhelmed Tunisia 36-0 and Senegal 45-0 to book their place in the semi-finals against Mauritius. Schoeman’s charges made easy work of the match as they cruised to a 46-0 victory.
Namibia fought hard in the final but were powerless to stop in-form South Africa, who sealed the 32-12 win and their place in the Youth Olympic Games.
“The players did incredibly well to win 46-0 in the semi-final. The final against Namibia was very physical, but we managed to win 32-12 in the end,” said Schoeman. “We are obviously very happy because this also means that we qualify for the Youth Olympics.
“These performances show that we have a lot of young talent in sevens. The result is also great for South African rugby.”
Rugby sevens made its debut at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, four years ago with France claiming the boys’ gold medal. France have an opportunity to defend their crown as winners of the Rugby Europe qualification event earlier this year but must first decide if they are to nominate rugby sevens as their chosen team sport.
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