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It’s time to fire


Besides their lack of experience defence is a major issue for the South African sevens team

Justin Geduld says that the misfiring Blitzboks are still a good team, and they have the talent to deliver winning results before too long. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky BackpagePix

Having played over 200 World Rugby Sevens Series matches for the BlitzBoks, Justin Geduld knows a thing or two about winning and losing in the green and gold. And he knows his team have their backs to the wall at the moment.

But Geduld, the 25-year-old flyhalf who has represented his country in 39 tournaments, also knows the BlitzBoks have the ability to click into gear at any stage. And they’ll be hoping to do just that when they compete in the fourth of 10 tournaments in the current series in Sydney this weekend.

“We have been in situations like this before and we have responded,” said the veteran playmaker about the situation coach Neil Powell’s team currently find themselves in.

The BlitzBoks have yet to win a tournament this series and only managed a fourth place finish in Hamilton last weekend.

“We are still a good team and the talent is there to deliver winning results,” said Geduld, who has scored 872 points (89 tries, 212 conversions and a penalty) in his series appearances. As soon as that jersey goes over your head, the desire to represent your country and to play for the guy next to you is there to do your best is a given.”

One area where the BlitzBoks will look to improve this weekend is in defence, something assistant coach Renfred Dazel said was a key part of their preparations in the build-up to the Sydney tournament.

“We knew and realised losing the likes of Dylan (Sage), Kwagga (Smith), Seabelo (Senatla) and Ruhan (Nel) would have an impact, but that is not an excuse for our performances so far this series,” said Dazel. “We need to do better in certain areas and have worked hard to improve, something I feel we are doing.”

Dazel feels the knockout punch of the past is lacking, but is still part of the team’s arsenal.

“Putting teams away in the last two, three minutes is something we will have to do better, no doubt. The previous squad did that and we need to improve on that.

“There is progress, as the players are improving and picking up more experience and confidence. Guys such as Dewald (Human) and Zain (Davids) are now starting for the first time and Stedman (Gans) and Justin are back from injury, so we are getting better by the minute.”

The BlitzBoks are in Pool D this weekend and face Argentina, Tonga and the hosts and defending tournament champions Australia tomorrow.