Blitzbok playmaker Justin Geduld is enjoying the added responsibility he has been given in the team as they prepare for the Sydney Sevens.
Allianz Stadium will be the venue this weekend as Geduld and South Africa look to back up their Wellington triumph across the Tasman.
With all-time leading points’ scorer, Cecil Afrika, ruled out for the Wellington and Sydney tournaments because of a knee strain, Geduld was entrusted with the role of starting pivot and did not disappoint. In fact, he relished the position and again impressed for his country.
“I have been in the starting role before, so it was nothing new to me,” said Geduld.
“The unfortunate injury to Cecil was a setback for all of us, but I realised this was an opportunity for me to step up and grab the opportunity with both hands. I had to get the team and the coach to have confidence in me and that was great to see that I managed that.”
Geduld scored 33 points in Wellington, but also made a telling contribution with his pinpoint kick-offs, defence and direction on attack.
“One has to be yourself and express yourself out there – you cannot try to be someone else,” said the Blitzbok playmaker.
“It helps that we have been together as a team for a long time now, as the guys know what to expect from each other. I can play with the freedom I need and I know the coach will back me.”
The Capetonian said it will be important for the team to forget about the tournament win in Wellington and to start afresh in Sydney.
“No one is going to give us any hand-outs here. If we want to be successful in Sydney as well, we will have to earn it the hard way. We are all aware that we start at zero again,” Geduld concluded.
These sentiments were shared by veteran forward, Chris Dry.
“We will have a target on our backs, that is a given,” said Dry, who has played in 55 tournaments for South Africa.
“It was nice to win last weekend, but they will be coming for us in Sydney. The challenge for us will be to have the same mind set from last weekend, where we believed in the processes and the team. We will have to play for each other again, but that is the fun part.”