The Blitzboks will be hoping to continue with their winning form for the home leg of the Sevens series. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
The opening leg of the 2019-20 World Sevens Series has come and gone, and for some teams, that’s a good thing.

There are teams that will want to improve, there are those who will want to make a statement, and there are those who will want to be consistent and build on what they did in the series opener. Point is, there will be a number of teams that will be on different kind of missions in the Mother City this weekend after what went down in Dubai. Here are three of them:

Fiji

The mission? Redemption

Last weekend marked the first time the Olympic champions did not make the quarter-finals of the Dubai event.

Fiji’s 24-21 defeat to Argentina was also their first in the pool stages in Dubai since their defeat to England nine years ago and it also marked the first time they failed to reach the Cup quarter finals of a World Series tournament since London in 2017. There was also that yellow card. They’ll be out to remind the Sevens world of their worth in Cape Town, that’s for sure.

Samoa

The mission? To prove that Dubai was no fluke.

Last weekend, Samoa made their best start to the series in five years, finishing fourth in Dubai. En route to that position on the standings, they defeated Australia in the quarter-finals but were outperformed by the Blitzboks in the semi-finals. It’s that pre-semifinal form they’ll want to find right from the start in Cape Town.

South Africa

The mission? Consistency and growth

This will be a different kind of mission, but a mission nonetheless.

Winning the Dubai title would inevitably have put a target on the Blitzboks’ backs, teams will be gunning for them this weekend. But apart from what the opposition will come at them with, the Blitzboks have made it clear that while they got the results in Dubai, they’ll have some fixing to do.

Coach Neil Powell admitted that he was concerned about whether or not his guys would find each other after a bit of a scare against Kenya in their opener, but things did come together as last weekend progressed, and it’s that cohesion between the experience and young blood that the South Africans will want to see right from the start in front of their home crowd.

Forward Chris Dry also explained that they have a lot of things to work on still, although they got a lot of things right in Dubai, and those processes, as opposed to results alone, will be a focus for the Dubai champions.

Chris Dry spoke of how the local crowd motivates them in Cape Town. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky BackpagePix


South Africa’s fixtures:

Tomorrow: Japan, kickoff 8.03pm

Saturday: Fiji, kick-ff 1.51 pm

Saturday: USA, kick-ff 8.03pm

@WynonaLouw 


Cape Times

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