Blitzbokke ready for Glasgow battle

2015-05-07 15:08
Neil Powell (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - A good performance at the Glasgow Sevens will not only ensure that the Springbok Sevens stay in the hunt for the coveted HSBC Sevens World Series title, it would also clinch their spot as one of the four automatic qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

With the top three teams in the Series separated by just 12 points, they will have everything to play for with an eye on the 16th Series title.

South Africa is currently in the top spot on the log with 129 points and is the only side to have advanced to every Cup semi-final so far this season, while Fiji (125) and New Zealand (120) are hot on their heels.

The South Africans this week returned to Glasgow where they experienced one of their greatest achievements by clinching the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said his team would draw inspiration from the triumph at the Ibrox Stadium.

“We showed the guys video clips of our successful Commonwealth Games campaign and I hope it will inspire and lift the squad for this coming weekend,” explained Powell.

The coach said although his team currently holds a slender lead on top of the standings, they are under no illusions about the massive task that awaits them on the opening day’s play on Saturday.

Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown and his team-mates have been drawn in a difficult pool, which includes defending World Series champions New Zealand, and the powerful combination of Samoa and fellow African outfit Kenya.

With only the top two sides in the pool rounds qualifying for the Cup knockout stages, Powell said his charges need no reminder about the importance of a solid showing on Saturday.

“We will approach each match as a knockout fixture because there is so much at stake,” said the coach. “A slip-up in the pools stages can set you back on the log table because the competition is so fierce at the top. We have a fit and competitive squad and the boys are determined to play to their full potential in the last two tournaments.”

The season comes to an end next weekend at the London Sevens at Twickenham where the champions will be crowned.

South Africa’s pool fixtures in Glasgow, Saturday 9 May:

12:58 - vs Samoa
16:04 - vs Kenya
19:37 - vs New Zealand

Read more on:    blitzbokke  |  neil powell  |  rugby

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2016-10-26 22:07

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