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- Is mighty Manyonga the world’s first nine-metre man?
- Mistry tames the nerves to nail victory at Wanderers
- SA boys bring back Nations Cup gold from Czech Republic
- Van Dyk fourth and motivated after exciting mass finish in London
- Olympic rowers for Arnold Classic Africa
- Haig hits comeback trail with a vengeance at Killarney
- Mabulu grabs bronze, kata team wins three medals in Madagascar
Blitzboks target a fourth Las Vegas leg Sevens victory
- Updated: February 13, 2015
With three title victories at the Las Vegas leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series, South Africa are the most successful team in this tournament.
The Blitzboks have won the United States leg of the Series on no less than three occasions, 2011, 2013 and 2014 and will be looking to hit the hat-trick jackpot in the casino city.
In this series Kyle Brown and his team have finished fourth at the Gold Coast, victories in Dubai and Port Elizabeth and last weekend third in Wellington.
This weekend they are in the same group as Portugal, America and Japan for the tournament in Las Vegas.
‘The team did great by fighting back after a real bad start on day one in Wellington and played some great rugby in the play-off for third place. We are not looking for third places though. We want to play in the final and win,’ said coach Neil Powell of his team’s performance in Wellington where they had a shock defeat against France on day one.
Captain Brown said that the slow start the team made in Wellington is worrisome. ‘We will have to address that for Vegas. I think the boys did show some great character and heart though by fighting back. We are a very capable team and know what we can do. We are a physical and gifted team – we showed that in the previous tournaments – and now we just need to get back on track.’
Winning the last match in Wellington in convincing style will be crucial for the build-up to Vegas. ‘We have some momentum again and we need to keep going with that,’ said Brown.
SA won the match against Scotland 40-5. Another plus from that game is the fact the coach Powell gave the youngsters almost a full game to proof their worth. This showed the depth of the squad; which is always crucial in case of injuries.
Powell made only one change to his squad for Vegas. His hand was forced when Justin Geduld injured his hamstring. He was replaced by Rosco Speckman.
South Africa (76) are still the overall leaders in the series followed by New Zealand (69), Fiji (64) and Australia (58). The top four teams at the end of the series automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
The Blitzboks’ games will be screened on Supersport as usual.
2am (SA time) v Portugal
4.56 v Japan
10:40pm v USA
1.45am start of quarter-finals
8.15 start of semi-finals
1.25 Cup final