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Blitzboks must stamp their authority early

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"So we need to make sure we make dominant tackles against them in order to throw them off their rhythm on attack"

BRANCO du Preez knows that South Africa will have to be better than they were in Dubai last week if they are going to win the Cape Town Sevens starting tomorrow.

The Blitzboks need to make a statement this weekend, and they need to do so in their very first game tomorrow.

Those are the words of experienced Blitzbok Branco du Preez.

The Blitzboks have been grouped in Pool A with New Zealand, Samoa and Zimbabwe for the Cape Town leg of the World Sevens Series after their sixth-place finish in Dubai.

While Du Preez said they have to put what happened in Dubai behind them, he raised a number of things they need to do differently at Cape Town Stadium.

“We were not at our best, but that is in the past now. This weekend in Cape Town is all that matters. We are expecting good support and we hope to give the Blitzboks supporters something to cheer about,” he said.

On facing New Zealand in their final pool match tomorrow evening, Du Preez said: “They are playing a very basic game plan and limit their mistakes.

“They are also very patient on attack and only strike when they see the defence is stretching.

“So we need to make sure we make dominant tackles against them in order to throw them off their rhythm on attack.

“We respect all teams and will not look past our first two opponents,” said Du Preez.

“We want to make a statement this weekend and that will start in the first game.”

Werner Kok agreed with Du Preez, and also said that they won’t be wearing the favourites tag.

“This will be a huge weekend for us. In a way, we are not the favourites, although the crowd will expect us to do well. The likes of New Zealand, Australia, USA and England will be favourites after Dubai.”

Kok, who has played 190 matches for the Blitzboks and scored 87 tries, feels a strong defensive effort from his side could tip the scales in their favour.

“We need to defend better. We slipped off too many tackles in Dubai, it is as simple as that,” said Kok.