Cape Town - A fifth place finish at a Sevens World Series event will never be good enough by South African standards, but Blitzboks captain Kyle Brown is not overly perturbed by what transpired in Dubai last weekend.
South Africa crashed out of that tournament at the quarter-final stage when they were stunned by the USA 21-19, though they did bounce back to beat Argentina and then Australia to win the Plate and finish fifth.
wouldn’t call it disappointing. I thought we played some great rugby this
weekend," Brown said from Cape Town on Tuesday.
"We went out in the quarter-finals and had a couple of tough situations
there. But when we came back to play Argentina ... in that semi I thought we played
some good rugby and then one of the more exiting games of the weekend
"Having left Dubai we know that we gained some momentum
towards the end of the tournament. Especially having four new guys … that was
Brown was referring to the inclusion of four 15s players - Francois Hougaard, Chelsin Kolbe, Juan de Jongh and Rayno Benjamin - in the Blitzboks squad in Dubai, and the captain was pleased with how they went.
"Juan (De Jongh) was playing a bit of centre and wing, Hougie (Hougaard) played sweeper and flyhalf … they both put
their hands up," said Brown.
"Cheslin (Kolbe) was phenomenal and Rayno’s (benjamin) work ethic was second to none ... that's what he's in this side for."
The Blitzboks won last year's World Series event in South Africa - at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth - but instead of feeling the pressure of playing in front of their home fans, Brown is encouraging his players to enjoy the experience.
can talk about the pressure, but we just want to have a great week this week," he said.
"Where else would you want to be this week? You’ve got the chance to play for
your country, in your country in front of 55 000 fans.
been on the circuit for a good seven years and we’ve always been saying we
should get a tournament down in Cape Town. I reckon it’s going to be a real
cracker this weekend."
The Blitzboks are pooled alongside England, Kenya and Zimbabwe.