Sydney - Justin Geduld is not a two-time World Rugby Sevens Series winner for nothing.
The 25-year-old flyhalf was
hugely instrumental in the Springbok Sevens team's successes in the last two
seasons and after 39 tournaments and 200 matches for the Blitzboks, the desire
still burns strong for the Cape Town-born playmaker.
That will again apply this
weekend in Sydney, where 16 teams will contest the Sydney Sevens at Spotless
Stadium in the fourth of 10 tournaments in the 2018/19 World Rugby Sevens Series campaign.
Geduld, who was in doubt for this
trip after knee surgery in December, is confident that the Blitzboks will
bounce back and land on their feet after a slower than usual start to the
"We have been in situations like
this before and we have responded," said Geduld, who has scored 872 points (89
tries, 212 conversions and a penalty goal) in his 200 appearances.
"We are still a good team and the
talent is there to deliver winning results. As soon as that jersey goes over
your head, the desire to represent your country and to play for the guy next to
you is there. To do your best is a given."
The Blitzboks have a tough pool
and after an average performance on defence in Hamilton last weekend, they
worked hard on this aspect of their game in sweltering and humid conditions in
Sydney this week.
Springbok Sevens assistant coach
Renfred Dazel said defence was the key element in their preparations for the
weekend, where they face Tonga, Argentina and Australia in Pool D.
"We knew and realised losing the
likes of Dylan (Sage), Kwagga (Smith), Seabelo (Senatla) and Ruhan (Nel) would
have an impact, but that is not an excuse for our performances so far this
series," said Dazel.
"We needed to do better in
certain areas and worked hard to improve, something I feel we are doing."
Dazel feels the knock-out punch
of the past is lacking, but is still part of the team’s arsenal: "Putting teams
away in the last two, three minutes is something we will have to do better, no
doubt. The previous squad did that and we need to improve on that.
"There is progress, as the
players are improving and picking up more experience and confidence. Guys such
as Dewald (Human) and Zain (Davids) are now starting for the first time and
Stedman (Gans) and Justin are back from injury, so we are getting better by the