Blitzboks as ready as can be - Powell

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South African coach Neil Powell
South African coach Neil Powell
Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images
  • Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell says they've prepared well for this weekend's Singapore Sevens.
  • The Blitzboks are in Pool A where they will duel Canada, Kenya and USA on Saturday.
  • The tournament also sees the return of powerhouse outfits Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa.

The Blitzboks are well prepared for their Singapore Sevens campaign this weekend, with coach Neil Powell stressing the players have put in the hard yards.

MATCH CENTRE | Singapore Sevens

Powell made sure the team worked extra hard in training this week in order to combat aspects such as jet lag, time differences and humidity.

"We executed that plan from our medical team with success," said the Springbok Sevens coach.

"We arrived early which helped, and we managed a defence and attack session, and both went well. We deliberately wanted to create high intensity early in the week and managed that. It was not perfect, but overall, I am happy with the effort the guys shown in those early sessions."

The tournament will be tougher than previous events in the season as Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa make their return.

For the moment, however, the Blitzboks are only focusing on Pool A where they will duel Canada, Kenya and USA on Saturday.

"It is not an easy pool and if you are not prepared well, you can easily trip over any of these three sides," said Powell.

"The last time we played Canada (in Malaga in January), the score was still 0-0 at the break and I am sure they will take a lot of confidence out of that performance. Our focus will be on that game and as always, we would like to set a standard for ourselves for the remainder of the tournament. So, we do target a good start."

Blitzboks fixtures - Saturday, 9 April (SA time)

06:34 v Canada

09:40 v Kenya

13:33 v USA

Powell noted the progress the Kenyans have shown in recent months: "Our matches against Kenya are always very physical and a true African derby. They are improving all the time and we need to make sure we play them on our terms."

According to the Blitzbok coach, the USA side remain one of the most dangerous, especially with strike runners such as Kevon Williams and Perry Baker.

"They have some players that are getting used to the World Series, but with pace like that you need to be very protective of your ball possession, because those guys can score from anywhere on the field," he said.

Powell added that he expected his charges to qualify for the Cup quarter-finals: "If we do the things well that we need to, the results will speak for itself, so the responsibility is ours to maintain the standards that made us successful so far this series," Powell said.

Springbok Sevens squad:

1. Sakoyisa Makata - 13 tournaments; 55 matches, 40 points (8 tries)

2. Ryan Oosthuizen - 27 tournaments; 133 matches, 145 points (29 tries)

3. Impi Visser - 17 tournaments; 86 matches, 90 points (18 tries)

4. Zain Davids - 28 tournaments; 141 matches; 130 points (26 tries)

5. Christie Grobbelaar - 7 tournaments; 34 matches, 65 points (13 tries)

6. JC Pretorius - 16 tournaments; 86 matches, 180 points (36 tries)

7. Ronald Brown - 4 tournaments; 24 matches, 185 points (17 tries, 50 conversions)

8. Selvyn Davids - 25 tournaments; 130 matches, 537 points (64 tries, 107 conversions, one penalty goal)

9. Lubabalo Dobela - uncapped

10. Dewald Human - 13 tournaments; 58 matches; 178 points (14 tries, 54 conversions)

11. Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain) - 35 tournaments; 182 matches, 585 points (117 tries)

12. Mfundo Ndlovu - 7 tournaments; 33 matches, 40 points (8 tries)

13. Darren Adonis - 4 tournaments; 22 matches, 42 points (8 tries, 1 conversion)

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