“Afrika, Afrika, Afrika, Afrika” goes the refrain in the Dr Alban/Dr Victor song: ‘Hello Afrika.’ (see video below)
If you ask any Blitzbokke fan in Port Elizabeth today what they’re most looking forward to at this weekend’s SA Sevens (other than the Castle Lager beer tent) it’s the return of Afrika…
Springbok Sevens mentor Paul Treu yesterday announced the dreadlocked game-changer in his starting team for the inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens.
In fact, at the official announcement at the Stadium yesterday, a South African team of only 11 players (sans Frankie ‘The Tank’ Horne) was made public. Judging by the amount of frantic questions I had to field on the issue here at BlitzBokke.com, I think most folks forgot that I actually live on the OTHER side of the world! Thankfully the correction was made soon enough and The Tank’s ‘Support Team‘ will be chuffed that the big guy is ‘back’ in the side.
On a serious note, for this scribe the prospect of seeing Cecil and Branco du Preez ‘hunting‘ together in Port Elizabeth will be worth sitting up till 4 in the rapidly chilling Hong Kong morning.
Treu was careful to dispel any undue pressure on Afrika to add the extra edge to the Blitzbokke’s game in front of their home-crowd.
“Expecting Cecil to go out there and make the difference is not fair,” said the philosophical Treu. ”Sevens is a team game and that’s how we approach every game — as a team. It is great to have him back though.”
Player and mentor. Cecil Afrika getting some guidance from Paul Treu.
However, to lend and mangle a phrase from the 2010 FIFA world fans: Feel it, it is there. The Springboks have not been playing to their full ability (in part) because they didn’t have a finisher. Specifically a finisher of Afrika’s caliber. Expecting Branco du Preez to fill those shoes after only one season is a bit too much.
Having said that, I for one am drooling to see the trio of Afrika, du Preez AND newcomer Cornal Hendricks on the Port Elizabeth pitch together.
So this weekend at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, we will all ask:
Hello Afrika, tell me how you’re doing?!
Add @BlitzBokke on Twitter for all the latest Sevens news. Scores updated as it happens.