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New tournament, new chance of glory for Blitzboks
- Updated: April 14, 2016
The Springbok Sevens team sees the HSBC Singapore Sevens tournament, to be played in the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday and Sunday, as another opportunity to claim gold and reward the consistency the team has shown this season.
Springbok Sevens team captain, Kyle Brown, on Thursday said past results confirmed that the squad cannot be faulted on effort or attitude. The team has made all seven semi-finals of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series so far.
‘We cannot fault anyone on effort or attitude,’ said Brown. ‘Those are the two things we are looking for at every tournament. Yes, we are tired of getting so close and then not get the result we worked for, but there is a lot of good to take out of that as well.
“We did not target any particular tournaments this year, but rather looked at being consistent at all of them. We talked about avoiding the ups and down between tournaments and we have achieved that.’
The latest addition to the series does excite them, but the attitude remains the same, according to Brown.
‘We have not moved from taking every tournament as it comes. We have had some great events this year, but started afresh every week. We see this one as all the others, a world class venue in a world class city where we will be giving it our best,’ said Brown.
Brown does feel that the climate and heat and humidity could have an impact here. ‘We have played here in recent years in invitational tournaments with the SA Rugby Sevens Academy and it gets you every time. We have to take that in consideration this weekend, tactically and nutrition wise and with proper hydration,’ Brown added.
The positive energy is shared by Springbok Sevens utility back Ruhan Nel (pictured above), who feels that the squad must embrace and use the energy of playing in Singapore for the first time.
‘We have another opportunity to win a tournament in the series and that makes it exciting for us,’ said Nel.
‘Last week is in the past, we are getting another chance to win a title and should embrace that. The fact that we are playing at a new venue adds to the excitement.
‘In fact, when we had a first run here on Monday afternoon and pulled the Springbok Sevens jersey over our heads, all the good emotions came back. We are playing for that jersey, the guys around us and for the people back home. So motivation came easy. We only have three tournaments left and have everything to play for still.’
The Springbok Sevens squad for the HSBC Singapore Sevens tournament (with World Series tournaments) is: 1. Ryan Kankowski (5), 2. Chris Dry (50), 3. Tim Agaba (4), 4. Kwagga Smith (22), 5. Siviwe Soyizwapi (1), 6. Kyle Brown (53, captain), 7. Branco du Preez (44), 8. Stephan Dippenaar (26), 9. Justin Geduld (24), 10. Cecil Afrika (42), 11. Seabelo Senatla (28), 12. Ruhan Nel (9)
Stats and facts:
The Springbok Sevens team is currently third on the overall series log with 122 log points. Fiji is leading with 128 and New Zealand second with 123.
The Springbok Sevens squad have a combined 306 tournaments under the belt, second only to Canada (322).
The Springbok Sevens squad have scored a combined 4447 points amongst them in the series, the most of all teams. Kenya is second with 2630.
The team also scored a combined total of 662 tries, more than anyone else in the tournament, with Kenya second with 518.
Cecil Afrika is the leading South African point’s scorer of all time in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. He has scored 1044 points in 42 tournaments so far.
The HSBC Singapore Sevens was previously held in the city from 2004 to 2006. In the inaugural tournament in 2004, South Africa beat Argentina 24-19 in the final, which was also coach Paul Treu’s first tournament win. In 2005 and 2006, South Africa lost in the semi-finals.