fast little loans
Cape Town - Having beaten New Zealand in the Las Vegas Cup final last month, South Africa will be confident heading into the sixth round of the 2012/13 IRB Sevens World Series in Hong Kong this weekend.
The Boks’ 40-21 victory in the US Cup final rocketed them to second in the standings on 73 points, 23 behind leaders and defending champions the All Blacks on 96 and ahead of Samoa (71) and Fiji (66) with four legs remaining this season.
“We’ve had a frustrating start to the season,” said coach Paul Treu.
“We started off well, had a dip in Dubai, came close in Port Elizabeth and had our worst performance in Wellington. But we remain the team with the best stats, have the least amount of tries against us, and the top scorer in Chris Dry.
“But decision-making and execution let us down, so we’ve been working hard in training on that and getting back the desire and hunger to win.”
South Africa will be hoping to carry that momentum into the Hong Kong and Tokyo legs.
The Blitzbokke made three changes, with Steven Hunt returning, along with Justin Geduld, who recovered from a hand injury, and Jamba Ulengo.
“Jamba hasn’t played for six to seven months so it will be good for him to know how it feels to win,” added Treu.
Warren Whiteley and Cheslin Kolbe have returned to their provinces for contractual reasons and Pieter Engelbrecht was not considered after suffering a concussion.
“Pieter complained of new symptoms last week so we don’t want to push him. We will reassess him this week and if he is match-cleared, will be on standby for Japan,” said Treu.
Although the Hong Kong series remains a favourite destination for the team, Treu is wary of the challenges that await them in the East.
“It’s a big and tough tournament which takes place over three days and will be mentally draining for the guys to play in front of about 40000 fans.
“This week we will take it easy and work more on our mental side as we had enough physical training in Zimbabwe, as well as against the UWC Young Guns last week.”
South Africa have been drawn in Pool A and will play Argentina (3.16pm) on Friday, followed by Australia (7.46am) and Wales (2pm) on Saturday, with the tournament finishing on Sunday.
“I hate playing against Argentina because you never know what to expect as they don’t play traditional Sevens rugby,” commented Treu.
On the progress of Cecil Afrika and Kyle Brown, Treu said: “I’m happy with Cecil’s success and hopefully he can join us in Japan.
“Kyle’s rehab has been quicker than expected and he could be ready by the end of May.
“There is a slight chance he could play in the World Cup in June.”
SA Sevens squad: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Frankie Horne (captain), Jamba Ulengo, Cornal Hendricks, Tshotsho Mbovane, Branco du Preez, Stephan Dippenaar, Paul Delport, Justin Geduld, Seabelo Senatla, Steven Hunt.