Argentina opener crucial for Blitzboks in London

May 27 • Blitz Bokke, General News, International, National, Sevens Rugby, Sevens World Series, South Africa, South Africa • 277 Views • No Comments on Argentina opener crucial for Blitzboks in London

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Certain things were predictably good about the Springbok Sevens and their HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in recent years – their processes and system, but also the importance of setting the standard for a tournament by laying the foundation in the very first match of the opening day.

That has not changed, despite some disappointing results of late, and when the Blitzboks take on Argentina at the HSBC London Sevens at 10h54 (SA time) on Saturday morning, the focus would be exactly the same.

Hopefully the execution will be better, as Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell was quite open about the shortfalls in their game last weekend in Toulouse.

“Soft moments and basic skills not executed well, rather than lack of effort was holding us back,” Powell explained.

“We had some areas that were really poor in Toulouse. Our kick-off receives was one of them and we lost three of the four restarts against Samoa, for example. That is giving the ball straight back to the opponents and at this level it is looking for trouble, especially when you do so in critical times of the game.

“Those are small areas in the game that we need to improve on, but also areas that we know we can improve on. We worked on those, and the results will be better this weekend.”

The Blitzboks have suffered a number of unexpected defeats in recent tournaments and they are suddenly in a much tighter race than anticipated two months ago to retain their HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series crown. South Africa and Argentina are neck and neck in the race to line, so Saturday’s clash could be more important than just a strong start to the weekend.

“They are a difficult team to play against – they never surrender and they never give up,” said Powell.

“I believe that if we put down a good foundation in that first game, the guys will build on it and we will be successful. It is going to take a big effort, individually and as a team, to do that and deliver a more clinical performance than we showed last weekend.”

Blitzbok pool schedule (SA time, all matches live on SuperSport):

Saturday 28 May:

10h54: Argentina

14h22: Ireland

17h08: Kenya

The HSBC London Sevens pools:

A: Fiji, USA, Spain, Wales

B: Ireland, Argentina, South Africa, Kenya

C: France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada

D: Samoa, England, Scotland, Japan

The Springbok Sevens squad for HSBC London Sevens:

  1. James Murphy – 8 tournaments, 31 matches, 25 points (5 tries)
  2. Ryan Oosthuizen – 30 tournaments, 142 matches, 150 points (30 tries)
  3. Impi Visser – 20 tournaments, 101 matches, 100 points (20 tries)
  4. Zain Davids – 31 tournaments, 156 matches, 155 points (31 tries)
  5. Sako Makata – 14 tournaments, 58 matches, 55 points (11 tries)
  6. Angelo Davids – 7 tournaments, 38 matches, 140 points (38 tries)
  7. Branco du Preez – 80 tournaments, 405 matches, 1417 points (99 tries, 458 conversions, 1 penalty goal, 1 drop goal)
  8. Jordan Hendrikse – uncapped
  9. Ronald Brown – 7 tournaments, 40 matches, 260 points (26 tries, 65 conversions)
  10. Dewald Human – 16 tournaments, 70 matches, 201 points (15 tries, 63 conversions)
  11. Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain) – 38 tournaments, 198 matches, 640 points (128 tries)
  12. Muller du Plessis – 17 tournaments, 83 matches, 290 points (58 tries)
  13. Mfundo Ndhlovu – 9 tournaments, 40 matches, 45 points (9 tries)

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