December 7, 2013 (ISN) – On an emotionally-charged day in Port Elizabeth, tournament hosts South Africa matched Argentina, Fiji and New Zealand in winning all three of their matches on the opening day of the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens.
Inspired by a passionate home support, the Blitzbokke won their opening match against Canada after observing a moment’s silence for the late former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Later in the day the home side was joined by all 15 other national sides for the singing of the country’s national anthem and a minute’s silence as Rugby honoured the memory of Nelson Mandela in the stadium that fittingly bears his name.
“I would love to give you an explanation but my words wouldn’t do it justice. It’s a real honour and a privilege to be a South African today,” said captain, Kyle Brown.
Neil Powell, South Africa’s coach added: “It’s been an emotional weekend and the guys are really feeding off the atmosphere inside the stadium today. It is a privilege to play here this weekend.”
The South Africans line up in Saturday’s Cup quarter-finals against Portugal, who recorded a shock 28-17 victory against Wales and a 33-17 win over the USA. In the other last eight matches in the Cup Fiji play Samoa, New Zealand face Kenya and Argentina play France.
After a competitive pool campaign, Australia, Wales and England will all contest the Bowl on day two. Australia play Zimbabwe, Wales face Canada, England will play Scotland and Spain line up against the USA.
Video News Release – Rugby Sevens honours Mandela
The IRB has made available a Video News Release of the tribute on day one to Nelson Mandela. The hosts and the 15 other international teams joined together on the pitch during a break in play, wearing black armbands, for the playing of the South African national anthem, followed by a minute’s silence.
The VNR is available on the following FTP. Please note that a VNR is a compilation of shots/footage, and requires editing.
Download details (please use appropriate FTP software such as Filezilla)
QuickTime name: irbmandelanews.mov
At the end of day one in PE there are rights-free photos of every team in action, as well as rights-free audio with Frankie Horne (SA) and South African broadcaster, Gavin Cowley.