Game set, on, off field

2018-12-13 06:03
Rosco Specman on his way to the try line against New Zealand during the group stages of the tournament on Saturday 8 December 2018.         PHOTO: Rashied Isaacs

Rosco Specman on his way to the try line against New Zealand during the group stages of the tournament on Saturday 8 December 2018. PHOTO: Rashied Isaacs

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The second leg of the Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and came dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up.

“Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited.

“It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went onto secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Rosco Specman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Philip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time.

The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final, I was incredibly emotional, because, for one, I think, we could have beaten them.

With the current team, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future.

The fact that I am still getting emotional about things after games- because I don’t know how many times I am going to play in Green Point again.

I don’t know how many times I am going to play in front of this Cape Town stadium crowd.

It just shows for me inside that it still means a heck of a lot to me. I am incredibly grateful just to be able to put the boots on and get out on the field and contribute a bit,” says Brown, who hopes Snyman’s injury is not too serious.

He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play, but that Cape Town is a sharp learning curve for them, with Brown citing unforced errors for their eventual elimination.

“First you are going to learn by losing the game; in front of your home crowd in a semi-final you could have won.

That has to hurt ... With that you bring some growth. Unfortunately we have to be part of that growth and unfortunately we have to walk that path, because you can’t emulate game situations in practice all the time. It is impossible. If we could, it would be an easy day out there.”

The second leg of World Rugby’s Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up.

“Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited.

“It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went onto secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Rosco Specman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Philip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament­.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time. The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final I was incredibly emotional, because for one I think we could have beaten them. With the current team we have, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future. The fact that I am still getting emotional about things after games, because I don’t know how many times I am going to play in Green Point again. I don’t know how many times I am going to play in front of this Cape Town stadium crowd. It just shows for me inside that it still means a heck of a lot to me. I am incredibly grateful just to be able to put the boots on and get out on the field and contribute a bit,” says Brown, who hopes Snyman’s injury is not too serious. He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play, but that Cape Town is a sharp learning curve for them, with Brown citing unforced errors for their eventual elimination. “First you are going to learn by losing the game. You are going to learn by losing in front of your home crowd in a semi-final you could have won. That has to hurt. With that you bring some growth. Unfortunately we have to be part of that growth and unfortunately we have to walk that path, because you can’t emulate game situations in practice all the time. It is impossible. If we could, it would be an easy day out there. There has been a lot of learning this weekend and if there is one thing that came out of that last game was that fight to make sure we ended off this weekend well.”

The second leg of World Rugby’s Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up.

“Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited.

“It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went onto to secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Rosco Specman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Philip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time. The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final I was incredibly emotional, because for one I think we could have beaten them. With the current team we have, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future.” He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play.

The second leg of World Rugby’s Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up.

“Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited.

“It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went on to secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Roscoe Speckman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Phillip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time. The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final I was incredibly emotional, because for one I think we could have beaten them. With the current team we have, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future.” He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play.

The second leg of World Rugby’s Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up. Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited. “It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went onto secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Rosco Specman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Philip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time. The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final I was incredibly emotional, because for one I think we could have beaten them. With the current team we have, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future. The fact that I am still getting emotional about things after games, because I don’t know how many times I am going to play in Green Point again. I don’t know how many times I am going to play in front of this Cape Town stadium crowd. It just shows for me inside that it still means a heck of a lot to me. I am incredibly grateful just to be able to put the boots on and get out on the field and contribute a bit,” says Brown, who hopes Snyman’s injury is not too serious. He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play, but that Cape Town is a sharp learning curve for them, with Brown citing unforced errors for their eventual elimination. “First you are going to learn by losing the game. You are going to learn by losing in front of your home crowd in a semi-final you could have won. That has to hurt. With that you bring some growth. Unfortunately we have to be part of that growth and unfortunately we have to walk that path, because you can’t emulate game situations in practice all the time. It is impossible. If we could, it would be an easy day out there. There has been a lot of learning this weekend and if there is one thing that came out of that last game was that fight to make sure we ended off this weekend well.”

The second leg of World Rugby’s Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up.

“Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited.

“It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went onto secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Rosco Specman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Philip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament­.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time. The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final I was incredibly emotional, because for one I think we could have beaten them. With the current team we have, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future. The fact that I am still getting emotional about things after games, because I don’t know how many times I am going to play in Green Point again. I don’t know how many times I am going to play in front of this Cape Town stadium crowd. It just shows for me inside that it still means a heck of a lot to me. I am incredibly grateful just to be able to put the boots on and get out on the field and contribute a bit,” says Brown, who hopes Snyman’s injury is not too serious. He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play, but that Cape Town is a sharp learning curve for them, with Brown citing unforced errors for their eventual elimination. “First you are going to learn by losing the game. You are going to learn by losing in front of your home crowd in a semi-final you could have won. That has to hurt. With that you bring some growth. Unfortunately we have to be part of that growth and unfortunately we have to walk that path, because you can’t emulate game situations in practice all the time. It is impossible. If we could, it would be an easy day out there. There has been a lot of learning this weekend and if there is one thing that came out of that last game was that fight to make sure we ended off this weekend well.”

The second leg of World Rugby’s Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up.

“Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited.

“It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went onto secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Rosco Specman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Philip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time. The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final I was incredibly emotional, because for one I think we could have beaten them. With the current team we have, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future. The fact that I am still getting emotional about things after games, because I don’t know how many times I am going to play in Green Point again. I don’t know how many times I am going to play in front of this Cape Town stadium crowd. It just shows for me inside that it still means a heck of a lot to me. I am incredibly grateful just to be able to put the boots on and get out on the field and contribute a bit,” says Brown, who hopes Snyman’s injury is not too serious. He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play, but that Cape Town is a sharp learning curve for them, with Brown citing unforced errors for their eventual elimination. “First you are going to learn by losing the game. You are going to learn by losing in front of your home crowd in a semi-final you could have won. That has to hurt. With that you bring some growth. Unfortunately we have to be part of that growth and unfortunately we have to walk that path, because you can’t emulate game situations in practice all the time. It is impossible. If we could, it would be an easy day out there. There has been a lot of learning this weekend and if there is one thing that came out of that last game was that fight to make sure we ended off this weekend well.”

The second leg of World Rugby’s Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up.

“Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited.

“It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went onto to secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Rosco Specman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Philip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time. The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final I was incredibly emotional, because for one I think we could have beaten them. With the current team we have, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future.” He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play.

The second leg of World Rugby’s Sevens World Series took place at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend.

Capetonians came out in their numbers, with 107 905 people descending on the venue over the two days.

Among them was Lansdowne’s Hanita Rama. She bought into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up as a superhero.

“This is the biggest costume party of the entire year. If you want to see any costume or any idea that is going on – people plan in advance for this stuff,” she said, encouraging those who will attend next year’s event to dress up.

“Get a costume, because last year we came without a costume and I felt so out of place. You have to dress up. It is part of the whole theme of the day. It is the culture of Sevens,” she said.

Michelle Abrahams from Muizenberg has been a patron of the event for the last three years and never ceases to be excited.

“It is exciting, because I enjoy the game. I love the atmosphere, I love being here with all the excitement. It is something to look forward to every year. Those who are not here are losing out big time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the hopes of the expectant home crowd were dashed when the Blitzboks fell short in the semi-finals, losing 17-12 to Fiji, who eventually went onto secure the title, the fourth different winner of the competition since its move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in 2015.

Coach Neil Powell’s charges had to settle for the bronze medal, beating New Zealand 10-5 in the play-off for third place.

Despite the result, Powell believes there is cause for optimism.

“We asked for an improvement and that is what we got this weekend. That match against Fiji could have gone any way, that is the message I carried over to them. We had chances, Fiji had chances and missed a few and so did we. They used the chances which mattered. I am glad that we could end on a win, it will do a lot for the team’s confidence,” he says.

Powell laments that the departure of key players such as Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage and Rosco Specman, who will join up with the Bulls for Super Rugby, has meant that much of the team has needed to be rebuilt. Injuries have also hampered the team’s progress, with captain Philip Snyman sustaining a knock to his shoulder which ruled him out of the knockout phase of the tournament. Snyman’s absence meant that Kyle Brown stood in to lead the team for the rest of the tournament­.

Brown, who has suffered serious knee injuries in the last two seasons, was elated to return to action and said that playing for the Blitzboks still means a great deal.

“You often question why you do these things and you question why you go through pre-seasons the way you do and go through tournaments getting beat up the whole time. The moment we lost that game to Fiji in the semi-final I was incredibly emotional, because for one I think we could have beaten them. With the current team we have, where they are right now, to be able to say we could have beaten Fiji at this place makes me very optimistic about the future. The fact that I am still getting emotional about things after games, because I don’t know how many times I am going to play in Green Point again. I don’t know how many times I am going to play in front of this Cape Town stadium crowd. It just shows for me inside that it still means a heck of a lot to me. I am incredibly grateful just to be able to put the boots on and get out on the field and contribute a bit,” says Brown, who hopes Snyman’s injury is not too serious. He says the current squad will continue to grow and improve the more tournaments they play, but that Cape Town is a sharp learning curve for them, with Brown citing unforced errors for their eventual elimination. “First you are going to learn by losing the game. You are going to learn by losing in front of your home crowd in a semi-final you could have won. That has to hurt. With that you bring some growth. Unfortunately we have to be part of that growth and unfortunately we have to walk that path, because you can’t emulate game situations in practice all the time. It is impossible. If we could, it would be an easy day out there. There has been a lot of learning this weekend and if there is one thing that came out of that last game was that fight to make sure we ended off this weekend well.”

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