CAPE TOWN – Blitzbok midfielder Stedman Gans reckons they are “getting closer and closer” to the weekend where they’ll be “unbeatable”. And that kind of belief and confidence will certainly be needed in Las Vegas this weekend.
The Springbok Sevens crew travelled to the United States with a youthful side and will look to up their performances as they head into the fifth tournament of the World Sevens Series. The back-to-back series winners haven’t made it to a tournament final yet this season – having finished sixth in Dubai, third in Cape Town, fourth in Hamilton and fifth in Sydney.
With only five legs remaining after Vegas, the Blitzboks are going to have to get it right consistently from now on if they want to hold onto the series title. And it’s a test Gans believes the team are capable of passing.
"We are getting closer and closer to that weekend where we will be unbeatable,” said Gans, who will be playing in his 14th tournament.
“The young guys are learning all the time and we are improving as a squad. We are getting good confidence and had a good week training. Everyone is keen to contribute and fulfil their responsibilities and if we do that, the results will look after itself.”
Selvyn Davids is another youngster who is looking forward to the opportunity he will get at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Davids made quite an impact in Sydney, where the sweeper scored 30 points and showed that he knows how to hit the black dot with a number of impressive conversions.
“It is nice to get more opportunities – you need to play to gain confidence and I think the bigger involvement I have now has been good for me,” Davids said. “The more comfortable one gets, the more you relax and start to enjoy stuff, and that works for me in the Blitzboks. I love that I get more playing time,” said Davids, who will be playing in his 10th tournament.
The likes of Philip Snyman, Werner Kok, Branco du Preez, Justin Geduld and Siviwe Soyizwapi will offer some guidance to their younger mates in Nevada, while the Las Vegas venue will offer the newcomers a chance to boost the Blitzboks – who are currently in fourth spot on the standings – with “young energy” (as coach Neil Powell put it last week), and also some unpredictability.
The Blitzboks will meet Japan and Chile early tomorrow morning, before squaring off against England in their last Pool D game on Sunday morning.
The Springbok Sevens squad is:
Ryan Oosthuizen, Philip Snyman (captain), Impi Visser, Sako Makata, Werner Kok, JC Pretorius, Branco du Preez, Selvyn Davids, Justin Geduld, Stedman Gans, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Mfundo Ndhlovu, Muller du Plessis (official reserve).
v Japan – 3.12am (Tomorrow)
v Chile – 6.13am (Tomorrow)
v England – 12.10am (Sunday)
The Cup Final will be played Monday morning SA time.