After a seven-year drought, the Springbok Sevens team are determined to win their home tournament which will be held in Cape Town at the DHL Stadium this weekend.
That was the word from Blitzboks assistant coach Philip Snyman, who was part of the team as a player when they last won the Cape Town Sevens leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2015.
“Yes, we really want to win this, it has been too long,” he said.
Aware of importance of home win
Apart from that triumph in Cape Town, Snyman was also part of South Africa‘s successes on home soil in George and Nelson Mandela Bay which means he is fully aware of what it means to win in front of adoring supporters, family and friends.
He feels, however, that the added pressure of playing in familiar surroundings may have worked against the Blitzboks at previous tournaments on home soil.
“Last weekend’s win (in Dubai) was possible without those spectators, the family and the friends, so it can be done,” he said.
“What we realised last week was that if we do the small things right, the results came and if we can focus on that again this weekend, there is no reason why we cannot have the same outcome. We need to focus on those here this weekend, not so much on the crowd.”
For Snyman, the transition of the team, that during the 2021/22 World Rugby Sevens Series missed five consecutive podium finishes into one that could win the opening leg of the 2022/23 series in Dubai last weekend, was frustrating to both players and spectators.
“The turn-around was frustrating yes,” he said.
“I wish I could tell you how we felt after the loss to Great Britain in the opening game in Dubai. And how that feeling changed as we started to turn it around against Kenya and then Australia, and getting better and better towards the final.
“We are turning things around now as the players are starting to execute and understand what we want from them. It is great to arrive in Cape Town with good momentum and a chance. We have seen what is possible if we execute, now for a repeat of that routine.”
Looking for perfection
The former Blitzboks skipper admitted that team are still searching for the perfect game.
“We are searching for that perfect game and in an ideal world, that will come in the final this weekend,” he added. “We will start at zero again with our mindset, but on the field we laid nice foundations to build on for the weekend’s matches against Canada, Fiji and France in our pool.”