CAPE TOWN - Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell hopes to set the tone for the remainder of the World Sevens Series with fine-tuned performances at the Cape Town leg this weekend.
In the opening leg in Dubai last weekend the Blitzboks secured the title, but the Sevens mentor wants his team to improve on their “rusty” outings in the first tournament of the 2017/18 season.
“We haven’t been at our best in terms of playing together yet. We were a bit rusty in Dubai and even in the semi-final against Fiji and final against New Zealand I felt that the guys could be better," Powell said.
It’s a better showing on defence and sharper attack that Powell hopes to see from his charges on Satruday and Sunday. The Blitzboks of course also set that tone last season when they won the Dubai leg and emerged from the 2016/17 season as champions, and although he said that winning the opening tournament provided some good momentum, Powell was wary of complacency.
“A lot of the guys came back into the camp very late from Fifteens. So we have two days left to work on everything we want to improve, especially our defensive system. Hopefully the guys will find each other on Saturday.”
“We just have to sharpen up on attack and there are one or two things on defence that I’m not happy with. In terms of our defensive system, we always say 'if the guys look after the system, the system will look after them'.”
“It’s good and bad... you don’t want to become too relaxed because we won the Dubai leg. But I think it’s good to take a bit of confidence from that. In the first tournament you always wonder where we are as a team and where other teams are. So it gives you an idea of what to work on. Hopefully we can set the tone for the remainder of the Series with a win in Cape Town.”