Cape Town - The inner workings of the
Blitzboks have contributed to much of their success on and off the field.
need and desire to contribute to the greater good of the squad has been as
important as the end product - winning matches, tournaments and World
Rugby Sevens Series titles.
That mission statement has not
changed, although the results have in the current World Series, with the
Blitzboks in fourth position on the overall log after as many tournaments.
At the start of the Las
Vegas Sevens on Friday - the fifth in the series of 10 - the Blitzboks are in
real danger of falling behind front-runners New Zealand, Fiji and USA and
losing their grip on the coveted series trophy.
Yet, for newcomer Impi Visser and
tour stalwart Siviwe Soyizwapi, the objectives remain the same. Both are keen
to keep on contributing, although in different departments of the game.
For Visser, who recently
qualified as mechanical engineer, the construction and assembly of a smooth
running component is a given and as a forward in the sevens code, much of that
can be applied. The construction of phases, the set-up to manipulate defences
and open up gaps for the speedsters to exploit are all in a day's work for the
former Tuks graduate.
On the receiving end of these
well-oiled mechanics is Soyizwapi, now one of the true finishers on the world
circuit. Soyizwapi's 16 tries are among the leading efforts after four
tournaments, with Carlin Isles (USA, 18) and Dan Norton (England, 17) just
ahead of the Eastern Cape flyer.
Soyizwapi applauds the role of
those on the inside: "The guys do the hard work in order for me to finish that
off, so at times it is an easy job.
"We are all doing our best to
contribute to the team and nothing will be different this weekend. We have some
new faces and some new combinations, but the effort will not be new, we will
still play for the greater good of the team. Every time I get the ball, whether
in space or not, I want to make the work of the guys next to me pay off.
Soyizwapi tasted victory in
various tournaments across the world, but for Visser, that has not happened
since making his debut in Dubai last year.
Visser won the Varsity Cup
with Tuks in 2016, but a first Blitzboks win will not be unwanted and unwelcome.
"We are getting there - the
effort is good and the energy is there," said Visser.
"The more experienced guys in the
squad do help a lot to remind us about the standards and we are working hard to
get to that final match. Just like I saw Las Vegas and the lights for the first
time, that first time in a final is coming.
"I have dreamt of playing for the
Blitzboks and playing in finals, singing the national anthem. Not all of those
things have come true yet, but it is only a matter of time, I believe. The guys
have worked hard and we are pretty focused to deliver our best performance of