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We will not give it away

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SA Sevens team are fully focussed on the task at hand.

NO HOLDING BACK: Philip Snyman captain of South Africa says his team will not surrender their title very easily. Picture: Ryan Whisky / BackpagePix

If they have to get beaten in Dubai, it has to be by a team that outperforms them in terms of effort, says Blitzbok skipper Philip Snyman.

And they certainly aren’t planning on allowing their ‘effort’ tap to run dry in the Arabian desert.

The Springbok Sevens team will look to make it three in a row in the UAE when they kick off their 2018/19 World Sevens Series campaign against Zimbabwe in Pool A today.

“We can only control our own efforts,” said Snyman.

“We need to go out and deliver our best effort. We need to do justice to this proud jersey, ourselves, our families, our fans and make sure that the only way we can get beaten, is by a better effort on the day from someone else and not our lack of effort.”

While Snyman has more than one reason to hold the Dubai venue dear, there’ll be no reminiscing this weekend for the Blitzbok captain. He’s fully focused on the task at hand.

“I made my Springbok Sevens debut here and scored my first try here, so there are many good memories. But that doesn’t count for anything as it is a new season with new goals and new standards.”

Another Blitzbok man who has highlighted the importance of focusing on themselves this weekend is coach Neil Powell.

Powell became the first-ever player in the history of the World Sevens Series to win the competition as player and a coach.

Under Paul Treu, Powell and his teammates clinched their first Series title in the 2008/9 competition. And then in the 2016/17 season, Powell – this time as a coach – made it a double as the Blitzboks went on to win their second Series title (and their third last season).

So, after securing back-to-back titles, one wouldn’t think Powell has too much to be nervous about in terms of getting his tactics right. He might feel the pressure, sure, but that’s about it.

But the Blitzboks chief begged to differ.

“This first tournament is always a tough one,” said Powell.

“You don’t know what other teams have done with regards to preparation or what their level of readiness is. Therefore, the best idea is to just focus on your own effort and how to best implement what you prepared for.”

“We have a good record here indeed and that has helped us to a strong start to the series in recent years,” said Powell.

“We will hoping for more of the same, but it will not come to us, we will have to go out and do the work if we want to be successful.”

While you’d expect racking up the W’s to be any major team’s main objective, Powell has a different ‘must’ – consistency.

“We have been very consistent in the last two seasons and that has contributed to our successes,” said the coach.

“Last year, we only won two of the 10 events and Fiji five, yet we pipped them at the post because we never finished outside of the top four. That is what we will be looking for again this year.”

SA Sevens fixtures Day One SA kick-off times all matches live on SuperSport1

8.52am vs Zimbabwe

12:36pm vs Samoa

5.53pm vs Argentina

SA Sevens squad

Impi Visser, Philip Snyman (c), Ryan Oosthuizen, Zain Davids, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Dewald Human, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Muller du Plessis, Selvyn Davids (Replacement Player)