The Springbok Women’s Sevens will have everything to play for this weekend in Langford, Canada as they target a place in the top nine on the log standings with only three tournaments remaining on the Sevens World Series. Should they achieve this, Renfred Dazel’s team will retain their place on the circuit next season. And with only the tournaments in Canada, England and the Netherlands remaining, they will enter the last three legs under pressure.
Should they finish among the bottom three teams on the World Series log, their fate will determined by a World Series Qualifier. South Africa will meet the USA, hosts Canada and Russia in the pool stages late on Saturday and the early hours of Sunday morning. Dazel says: ‘This tournament will present another big challenge for us, but at the same time it offers us an opportunity to improve. This will be our second match against the USA this season and the third against Russia, and we have yet to beat them, so we have all the motivation we need. Canada are also a highly-rated team, coming off a third-place finish in Atlanta, while they will also have the luxury of home ground advantage, so we know only our best will do.’
With the Canada tournament taking place a little over a month after Atlanta and the Easter Weekend limiting the preparation time, Dazel said they were forced to adapt their training schedule: ‘We had less time to prepare for this tournament than the last three legs, but I am satisfied with that which we managed to do in such a short time. The players responded well to the challenge. Fortunately the structures have been in place for a while so it was just a matter of building on that and paying special attention to the areas of our game that let us down in Atlanta. Our defence, in particular, has to be of a higher standard this week and we have to be much more effective at capitalising on our point-scoring chances.’
Springbok Women’s Sevens team for Canada Sevens Series:
Zenay Jordaan (captain)