Cap Town - After only playing in four tournaments in the previous
season and missing out to Olympic Games selection due to niggling injuries, the
2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series started off in impressive fashion for
veteran Springbok Sevens playmaker, Branco du Preez.
The elusive runner in the Blitzbok set-up had a stellar
opening weekend in the Emirates Airlines Dubai Sevens played in Dubai last
weekend and is looking forward to another good showing at the HSBC Cape Town
Sevens this weekend.
"I was in a bad space after those injuries, but needed
to bounce back and be myself again," Du Preez said. "I just wanted to
make a positive contribution again."
Du Preez, who along with Cecil Afrika are fourth on the list
of all-time appearances for the Springbok Sevens with 46 tournaments, is the
most productive Blitzbok goal kicker ever, with 271 successful kicks. He has
scored 901 points, looking to become the second player after Afrika to move
past 1000 career points.
"This season, I just want to live my dream again and
play the best rugby I can. Playing with this team and the level the guys are
playing it means that you have to be at your best if you want to
Another big contributor last weekend, Chris Dry, is again
keen to produce the goods. Dry make the most tackles in the tournament in Dubai
(23) and want to contribute in any way possible.
"I am very happy just to be able to contribute to the
team. They lift me to up my performance and hopefully I can do the same for
them," Dry said.
The forward, who will be playing in his 54th tournament,
said it is important for the team to start at base zero again.
"We experienced a high in Dubai, but this week it was
important to start at zero again and I think this training session was good in
that regard," Dry said after the team had a good session at the Green
Ruhan Nel, who performances off the bench contributed to a
number of telling scores for South Africa in Dubai, added: “It is important for
the guys coming off the bench to deliver. Even if your contribution is just two
minutes, you must make sure that it counts."
Whether starting or playing off the bench, the contribution
should be the same, he feels.
"I have started in the past and that is what any player
want, but when you are playing off the bench, it should not change your
attitude. You still need to deliver a performance that will be good for the
team," Nel said.