Blitsbokke aim to raise the bar in the Bay

2011-12-07 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — The Springbok Sevens side admit they have under-performed in Australia and Dubai and are determined to bounce back to form in their home tournament at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, coach Paul Treu has said.

Treu, team captain Kyle Brown, IRB Sevens Player of the Year Cecil Afrika and senior squad members Frankie Horne and Chase Minnaar spoke to the media on Monday at their team hotel in Nelson Mandela Bay, the new host city for the South Africa Sevens.

The 16 participating teams arrived in the city on Sunday.

Treu was straightforward in his assessment of the team’s performances during the two previous Sevens World Series tournaments at the Gold Coast and Dubai. The Blitsbokke won the third match play-off two weeks ago in Brisbane, but lost the Plate Final against Australia on Saturday in the desert city.

Treu said he realises his team are under pressure to raise their game in front of their home fans.

“We are always under pressure to win and we approach every tournament with a winning attitude. We have let ourselves down by not playing to the standards we have set for ourselves,” said Treu.

He told his players to embrace the extra responsibility and expectations of the home supporters, something which his captain also referred to.

Brown said his team are looking forward to enjoying themselves in their only home outing and to play for the very first time in the new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Furthermore, Brown said, most teams have now changed their approach to Sevens and that this is evident in the overall standard of play so far this season.

“You can see that teams such as Japan, Portugal and Russia have now switched on differently in terms of their approach. The teams are more professional and it makes it harder for everyone, which is good for the game.

“We are going to focus on how to harness the good vibe in the Bay so that, hopefully, it can help us when we play on Friday and Saturday …” said the Blitzbokke skipper.

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