The Springbok Sevens team is bracing itself for two massive onslaughts from its continental counterparts Zimbabwe and Kenya in the group stages of the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens which starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday in the popular Far East city.
The Hong Kong tournament is the sixth event on the IRB Sevens World Series calendar and the bigger amount of points on offer for the winning teams always make this a very competitive stop on the Series circuit.
The All Starzz Dancers entertained a packed HKFC during the final day of the GFI HKFC Tens (Pic: Mike Jansen)
South Africa is the reigning Series champions, however, this time the Springbok Sevens will be aiming to end as high as possible on the log after enduring a frustrating and injury-interrupted season.
Paul Treu’s team will contest Pool F with neighbours Zimbabwe, the ever dangerous Kenya and the unknown quantity of Korea.
Treu said he expects Zimbabwe and Kenya to come with big onslaughts in the fight for first place in their pool log, with the group winner securing a possible clash against the USA instead of the dangerous Fiji.
The tournament starts tomorrow and South Africa takes on Zimbabwe in the last fixture of the day. On Saturday the team’s match against Kenya will also be the feature match of the day after their clash with Korea earlier in the day.
All knock-out matches are scheduled for Sunday.
Treu said he was optimistic of his team’s changes in view of the fact they have yet to qualify for a Cup semi-final this season.
“We have worked hard as always to eliminate out mistakes and I sense a real hunger amongst the guys to improve on their performances so far in the Series. I’ve always said that although we are a different team from last year, we have the potential to match the front-runners.
“We need to be more clinical in the execution of our game plan. I do realise that we have a lot of players who are playing in their first full season, but they must realise that we have to be more consistent and take the chances when they present themselves,”said Treu.
SuperSport will again show all the action live on SS6, starting from 10h15 (SA time) on Friday.
The Springbok Sevens squad is:
1.Mpho Mbiyozo, 2. Chase Minnaar, 3. Frankie Horne, 4. Cecil Afrika, 5. Chris Dry, 6. Kyle Brown (Captain), 7. Branco du Preez, 8. Ryno Benjamin, 9. Hoffman Maritz, 10. JW Jonker, 11. Sampie Mastriet, 12. MJ Mentz.