The Blitzboks are eager to build on their winning start to the new World Series campaign as they target a second Dubai Sevens title in a row with the second event of this season’s series taking place this weekend.
The Blitzboks enjoyed a record breaking first event last weekend, winning their third straight tournament and racking up their 18th win on the trot and they are hoping to take that momentum into this weekend.
“I am very confident in this team and each and every player, not only because of our wins but how committed the players are towards this team and what we are trying to achieve as a group,” said captain Siviwe Soyizwapi.
“So we are taking a lot of confidence from last weekend. We started off slow and peaked at the right time, so there are things to improve on and if we can just sharpen up on that the rest will take care of itself this weekend.”
Soyizwapi was in blistering form himself this past weekend in Dubai, running in seven tries over the tournament, however he admitted that it was a complete team effort that allowed himself and other players the space and freedom to flourish.
“For me personally I am just happy to contribute to the team in whatever way. What we believe as players is if you contribute to the team’s goals and objectives you achieve your personal goals as well, so that is the focus of myself and every player to make sure that the system continues to move forward,” explained Soyizwapi.
“So it was nice to run in some tries but I have to recognise my teammates who created the space and the guys who are working hard up front to get the ball back.
“Our good lineouts and set pieces that set the foundation on attack and everyone who plays their part in defence are all important in us having the freedom to play well. So it is really a team effort.”
Injuries in squad
The Blitzboks also have a big challenge heading into the next event as they only have 11 fully fit players after Muller de Plessis was ruled out with a leg injury and Ryan Oosthuizen has an ankle niggle and he is being given as much time as possible to prove his fitness before a call is made on his availability.
Due to current travel restrictions it means that if Oosthuizen doesn’t recover in time the Blitzboks will have to make do with their 11 fit players.
This will be a big challenge as it is also an inexperienced squad as Shilton van Wyk and Tiaan Pretorius only made their World Series debuts last week, while Shaun Williams and Ronald Brown have only featured in three tournaments.
“We are down to 11 players which is unfortunate, but we just have to soldier on. I know the character of this team and we can definitely withstand the pressure, we will just have to take it game by game in the tournament,” admitted Soyizwapi.