The Springbok Sevens team have enjoyed their time in Vancouver as they prepared for this weekend’s HSBC Canada Sevens, but with the tournament fast approaching, it means it’s time for serious business.
The Blitzboks had some good training sessions, enjoyed the natural beauty of British Columbia and managed to take in some local sports culture as well by attending an ice hockey match, courtesy of a South African ex-pat who lives in the city.
They have also performed well so far at BC Place, where the sixth leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will take place, with two runner-up finishes in two years. But this time around, they want to finish their third trip to Canada with a victory, said Blitzboks captain, Philip Snyman.
“Overall, we have done well in North America,” said Snyman.
“This week, we had to get our bodies moving again after the tough tournament in Las Vegas and to tweak one or two things that went astray over there. I think we managed that.”
Snyman is confident that they will be as competitive as ever when they take on Russia, Scotland and New Zealand in Pool D on Saturday.
“If we play to our standards, we will be competitive,” said Snyman.“We are looking for consistency again as that is part of the reason why we are still leading the series. There were five different winners in five tournaments and we would love nothing more than to change that. We are keen on winning again, Dubai was a long time ago.”
The change in personnel is something they need to adapt to, but Snyman does not see this as a negative: “The younger players who have come into the squad, have been training with us for a long time.
“We have lost seven experienced guys by now, so there is a bit of pressure on the remaining senior players to perform and provide a spark to the team. We also need to ensure the new players coming in are immediately put at ease and aware of what we want to achieve on the field.
“The flipside is that when someone new comes in, such as Marco Labuschagne, who joined us Wednesday, they bring some fresh energy into the squad and that is something that helps the senior players too.”