Bok Women’s Sevens return to favourite stomping ground

Dec 2 • General News, International, Sevens Rugby, World Rugby • 1448 Views • Comments Off on Bok Women’s Sevens return to favourite stomping ground

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The Springbok Women’s Sevens will return to their favourite stomping ground, The Sevens, in Dubai on Thursday for the opening leg of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series with high hopes following a series of successful tournaments at the 50000-capacity stadium.

The team advanced to the final of the inaugural Dubai World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series in 2012, the semifinal of the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens and the final of the Dubai International Invitational tournament last year at the stadium.

But with Australia, France and Spain in their pool in what will be their first tournament as one of the core teams on the World Series circuit, they face a challenging task to replicate these impressive results.

Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel admitted that their success at The Sevens would inspire his charges going into the tournament, but he said they would have to play to their potential to achieve similar results this week.

“Dubai has been a happy hunting ground for us in the last few years, and that will certainly inspire us going into the World Series,” said Dazel. “But this is a new tournament and we are facing some of the top teams in the world, many of which are experienced at this level, so they will test us. Our goal is to advance to the final stages of the Cup competition, and we will have to be at our best to achieve this, so our previous results will have no significance.”

Dazel said his team would have to hit the ground running to deliver on their desired results in the tournament as they face the defending champions, Australia, in their opening match.

“Australia proved last season that they are one of the top teams on the circuit by winning the Dubai and Sao Paulo tournaments, and by finishing as the runners up to New Zealand on the final log standings, so we face a challenging start to the series,” said Dazel.

“France are also a solid team, they beat us in the semifinal at the World Series qualifier in Hong Kong, although we beat them in the league stages, while Spain have also showed that they can be a force to be reckoned with. So we will have to approach each match in the series with the same determination and tempo if we want to surprise a few teams.”

With only six tournaments on the Women’s World Series circuit Dazel admitted that there was pressure on his team to start the season strongly with an eye on possibly finishing in the top four on the log standings at the end of the season to qualify automatically for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. However, he said their approach to the season would be to take each match and tournament in their stride.

“If we focus on the end result we will place unnecessary pressure on ourselves, so our only focus now is to do well in Dubai,” said Dazel. “After that we will focus on the Brazil tournament, then USA and so forth. This tournament will be particularly important to give us an idea of our strengths and weaknesses, as we have to improve consistently as the season progresses to compete with the top teams.”

Springbok Women Sevens Dubai World Series fixtures (SA times):

09h00 – Australia vs SA
12h18 – Spain vs SA
14h52 – France vs SA

Springbok Women’s Sevens squad for Dubai World Series:

Lorinda Brown
Phumeza Gadu
Rachelle Geldenhuys
Veroeshka Grain
Nosiphiwo Goda
Jacqueline Kriel
Sinazo Nobele
Marithy Pienaar (Captain)
Fundiswa Plaatjie
Mathrin Simmers
Ziyanda Tywaleni
Shona-Leah Weston

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