Springbok Sevens forward, Chris Dry, may be closing in on the all-time South African appearance record, but he still feels energetic and young with the HSBC Singapore Sevens looming.
The 29-year-old will be contesting his 60th HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in a Blitzboks jersey, only eight shy of Frankie Horne’s mark of 68, but according to Dry, there are more tournaments to be won with the team before thinking about personal milestones.
The Blitzboks arrived in Singapore with seven consecutive finals appearances and tournament victories for the 2016/17 season in the bag, but Dry admits more hard work needs to be done if they want to maintain their run.
“We played five good matches in Hong Kong last week and one bad one, where basic mistakes cost us dearly,” Dry said.“It gives us plenty to work with though, so there is no chance of being lethargic or in a comfort zone because of previous successes. You are only as good as your last game and in our case, we were pretty ordinary according to our standards.”
Dry made his debut way back in 2010 in Adelaide, but is still hungry to win tournaments with the Blitzboks. He has been impressive in his defensive play, making 116 tackles so far this season, which is second on the overall list, and scored 15 tries, moving his career tally up to 87.
He is keen to add to that this weekend.
“Singapore has been a good addition to the tour – the playing surface is great and the stadium impressive with a very good atmosphere, so it is going to be fun playing there this weekend,” said Dry.
“We love playing with each other as a team. There are a couple of younger guys and they are shaping up nicely, my role will be to help keep up the high standards we set for ourselves.”
The Blitzboks hold has a strong lead in the series, with a 23-point buffer between themselves and second-placed Fiji, but Dry confirmed that they are not getting ahead of themselves.
“We have systems in place and if followed, it does bring results, as has been proved in the last seven tournaments. The focus in Singapore will be to stick to the system and structure and not worry about anything else,” he said.
Sandile Ngcobo has joined the Blitzboks in place of Selvyn Davids, who sustained an ankle injury in Hong Kong and had to return to South Africa, following his debut for the team.
“We hope to have Selvyn back soon, he was playing well. Luckily for us, ‘Caleb’ (Ngcobo) has been around and he will bring nice energy to the team. It’s good to have him back in the squad as well,” said Dry.
The South African team for the HSBC Singapore tournament (with tournament caps and points) is:
- Chris Dry (59, 435)
- Philip Snyman (captain; 47, 266)
- Dylan Sage (17, 85)
- Zain Davids (5, 0)
- Werner Kok (26, 305)
- Siviwe Soyizwapi (9, 105)
- Branco du Preez (52, 1010)
- Tim Agaba (8, 25)
- Stedman Gans (3, 0)
- Cecil Afrika (50, 1227)
- Sandile Ngcobo (3, 15)
- Ruhan Nel (18, 170)
- Ryan Oosthuizen (1, 0)*