Blitzboks is hopeful the HSBC Singapore Sevens tournament will help them re-establish their status as the blitz of SA after Fiji humiliated them last week.
The Springbok Sevens team was blazing in Hong Kong until they encountered Fiji. The team won five of six matches but then, was lashed by Fiji in the final. Blitzboks lost 22 – 0 and it was their fourth defeat in 42 matches.
Now, Blitzboks can’t wait to make a strong statement in the beginning of the HSBC Singapore Sevens at the Singapore National Stadium this weekend.
Siviwe Soyizwapi said the team can’t wait to amend the errors that warranted the Fiji trashing. The winger said:
“In a way, we are lucky that Singapore is just a week after Hong Kong, which means we have a chance to fix things right away.We have travelled well, the training sessions went well and we are ready to go out there and play for each other and for our country.
Singapore is very hot and humid, pretty much like Durban, but that will only be a factor if we allow it to be. All the teams play in the same conditions, so it does not really matter.”
Below is Blitzboks’ playing schedule for Saturday (SA times):
- SA vs Japan (o6h06)
- SA vs France (09h06)
- SA vs England (13h02)
Coach Neil Powell expressed that a strong start would go a long way in helping his team build up winning momentum again. He said:
“We need to start well and build momentum from there, so in a way, the Japan match is the most important one of the tournament, as it will set the tone.
They are a dangerous side when given space, so our defence will have to be spot-on. If we are going to allow them to run around, we will have a lot of defending to do.”
Thereafter, Powell remarked that France is also a dangerous opponent.
“They played well against us last weekend in Hong Kong, where we won 17-10 and I think they will get a lot of confidence from that match. You never know which French team is going to pitch and that makes them a very tough opponent,” he said.
However, the last match against England would likely be the toughest. This is so because three of Blitzboks’ four defeats this season was ensured by England.
The most recent defeat England handed the Blitzboks was at the Vancouver final in March. Commenting on this, Coach Powell said: “We played poorly in that final, so the challenge will be to trust our structures and systems.
“If we do that and cut out the basic errors we tend to make against them, we will be competitive.
“They are well coached and have the most experienced side in Singapore. They are very physical, but I think we lost against ourselves in the defeat in Vancouver. Yes, they are difficult to beat,” Powell admitted.
Meanwhile, you should know that the Fiji lashing of the Blitzboks didn’t impact on the Springbok Sevens team lead in the overall standings of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
While HSBC Singapore Sevens is the 8th of 10 tournaments in the series, Blitzboks is currently leading with 23 points.