- Klaasen bags a fourth ATP World Tour doubles title in the US
- Strauss hoping title defence will spark return to form
- Defending champ Venter makes his SA senior team debut
- Singh shoots Amajita to victory against Cameroon
- Pace bounces back with strong finish in Thailand
- Blitzboks take it easy before Las Vegas Sevens
- Maripa bags first title of the year in Bolton
- England wrap up Summer Series with 2-0 win against SA
- Five more Meet records at SA Grand Prix
- Fichardt nails 15th Sunshine Tour win at Joburg Open
Dazel says matches against Brazil give SA women’s sevens a great base
- Updated: February 1, 2016
Springbok women’s sevens coach Renfred Dazel believes his team have a solid foundation to build from this season following last week’s training matches against the Brazil national team in Stellenbosch.
The team kicked off their season with a series of three training matches against Brazil and while no official scores were kept, Dazel said the matches served as a good yardstick to measure the quality of their performances.
‘The main objectives for us in these matches were to monitor the implementation of our structures and to measure where we are in terms of our quality of play and what we need to improve on for the season ahead,’ said Dazel. ‘The matches were very competitive, which is pleasing, especially this early in the season, as our team only assembled in camp on 11 January.
‘Brazil certainly tested us, and they used their speedsters well to make their presence felt. But it was good to see how our players responded to the challenge. They showed good innovation on attack at times and they showed a lot of character despite the physical nature of the matches and the intense heat in Stellenbosch, so our foundation is in place for the season ahead.’
With the teams playing between two and three matches each day, Dazel invited a handful of players who had impressed him at the SA Rugby Interprovincial Sevens competition in Nelspruit last season to participate in the matches, and he praised the young players for their brave efforts.
‘Some of the invited players impressed us immensely, which is particularly pleasing given the fact they are not familiar with our structures,’ said Dazel. ‘This was the first time some of them played alongside the contracted players, which is also pleasing. Apart from exposing these players to top-class international Sevens rugby, the matches also offered us an opportunity to see how the fringe players cope with pressure in a match situation.’
Picture of the pink-clad South Africans Chane Stadler, left, and Nomsa Mokwai, courtesy of Zeena Isaacs