Winning in Wellington for the first time since 2002 did leave smiles on the faces of the Springbok Sevens team, but the sweet feeling of victory will turn sour very quickly if the Blitzboks fail to perform at this weekend’s HSBC Sydney Sevens, the fourth instalment of the 2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
That is the message from Springbok Sevens captain, Philip Snyman, with the kick-off of the Australian tournament in the Allianz Stadium in Sydney only three days away.
“We have a saying in the team of always getting back to the middle,” said Snyman.
“Whether you had a good loss or a bad win, it does not make a difference, you have to start again with a fresh mind and attitude. Your start with the basics and try and do those right.”
Snyman points to the fact that South Africa failed to make the final in Sydney last year and that they are keen to improve on that.
“It will not be easy, teams will be gunning for us and we will have a target on our backs,” said the Blitzbok captain.
“We played well in Wellington, but the performances were in no means perfect. We have plenty of areas to improve on and will work hard in training to make the adjustments needed.”
The team defended very well in Wellington, conceding only four tries in six matches, but Snyman said even that can improve: “We are always striving for zero tries conceded, so we need to lift the intensity even higher.”
Sydney will be the last appearance in the current series for stalwarts Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Senatla, who will join their Vodacom Super Rugby franchises when the team returns to South Africa on Monday.
Snyman sees the positives in this, though: “They are great players and great guys and will be missed for now. At least we have one more tournament to play with them, so we will try and make it special for all of us.”
Smith (Emirates Lions) and Senatla (DHL Stormers) will now focus on fifteens and will in future only play in selected tournaments for the Blitzboks.