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- ASA launches new four-meeting track and field series
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- Blitzbok speedsters gearing up for Wellington action
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- Birkett and Solms wrap up Drak Challenge wins
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Blitzbok women drawn with front-runners New Zealand in Atlanta
- Updated: February 26, 2015
The Springbok Women’s Sevens have been drawn in a challenging pool with World Series log-leaders New Zealand, hosts USA and Russia for the third leg of the Women’s Sevens World Series in Atlanta on 14-15 March.
New Zealand, who won the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 Women’s World Series titles, continued their fine form in the competition and started this season strongly with back-to-back victories in Dubai and Brazil.
The USA, meanwhile, are currently in sixth position on the log standings after advancing to the Plate Final in the Brazil tournament earlier this month, and Russia in seventh position after battling it out with Brazil in the seventh and eighth place pla-yoff in Sao Paulo.
Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel expected his team to be tested in the USA leg, but he said they were working hard to be more competitive against the top teams.
‘This is certainly a challenging pool,’ said Dazel. ‘New Zealand have been the top team on the circuit since the inception of the Women’s World Series and they have managed to maintain that impressive form, which earned them series victories in Dubai and Brazil. The USA, meanwhile, will have the luxury of home ground advantage, and we expect that to charge them up to make their presence felt. Russia also showed in our match in Brazil that they can be a force to be reckoned with. But that said, our focus is on improving the quality of our play rather than looking at the opposition.’
The Springbok Women’s Sevens players had a week off after the Brazil tournament to rest mentally and physically, but they have been training hard since last Wednesday to give a better account of themselves on the field in Atlanta.
‘The break was important for the players and it also gave them time to reflect on the areas of our game that have let us down,’ said Dazel. ‘We were under no illusions about how tough our first season would be as a core team on the circuit and we knew that we would be tested to the limit. But one of our main objectives was to improve steadily as the season progresses and to challenge a few of the top teams, and we have to continue putting in the hard yards to achieve this.’
Fixtures (SA time)
8.50pm – USA vs SA
11.12pm – New Zealand vs SA
2.18am – Russia vs SA