Blitzbokke on a mission

2015-04-02 16:23
Neil Powell (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - After finishing third at the previous three HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments, South Africa will be out to add another Cup title to this season's collection at the Tokyo Sevens tournament this weekend.

The Blitzbokke (on 110 points) are currently enjoying a slender lead of only two points over Fiji at the top of World Series standings after six rounds.

After winning the Cup in Dubai and Port Elizabeth, they have not progressed further than the semi-finals in Wellington, Las Vegas and Hong Kong.

The 17 points they collected in the Hong Kong leg of the World Series has allowed them to stay in first place above Fiji and New Zealand.

Success in Tokyo on Sunday will thus allow the Blitzbokke to consolidate their lead in the race for the coveted World Series title.

The top four teams at the end of the current World Series season in May will automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

For now, the focus is very much on the next World Series assignment in Tokyo, where the Springbok Sevens will be hoping to challenge strongly for the Cup.

They kick-off on Saturday against Canada at 04:58 (SA time), with their remaining games being played at 07:46 against Kenya and at 11:58 versus the USA.

Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach reckons said his charges will have to be alert and mentally strong in Tokyo.

"Tokyo is always a difficult tournament because it happens after a huge build-up the previous week in Hong Kong.

"I believe the team that arrives here in a good mental state will be successful, and hopefully that will be us," said Powell.

The Springbok Sevens squad for the Tokyo Sevens are (World Series caps in brackets, all SARU contracted):

1.    Chris Dry (41)
2.    Carel du Preez (0)
3.    Frankie Horne (65)
4.    Kwagga Smith (12)
5.    Werner Kok (14)
6.    Kyle Brown (captain, 45)
7.    Branco du Preez (38)
8.    Ruhan Nel (3)
9.    Justin Geduld (16)
10.  Cecil Afrika (36)
11.  Seabelo Senatla (15)
12.  Rosko Specman (3)

04:28 vs. Canada
07:46 vs. Kenya
11:58 vs. USA


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