The Springbok Women’s Sevens touched down in London on Monday for the penultimate round of the Women’ Sevens Series with hopes of a satisfactory finish to the season. The England tournament, which will be hosted at The Stoop on Friday and Saturday, with the final and 3rd/4th place play-off being hosted at Twickenham, will be followed by the season-ending Amsterdam Sevens next week on 22 and 23 May. The top four teams on the log at the conclusion of the Amsterdam tournament will qualify automatically for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
With the challenging task of lining up against hosts England, Canada and Russia in the pool stages in London, Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel said their immediate focus was on the England tournament. Canada are currently in second place on the World Series standings, with England in sixth place and Russia seventh respectively.
Dazel says: ‘This is the first time we play back-to-back tournaments and that is a challenge in itself. But at the same time it is exciting for the players. That said, it is important not to get ahead of ourselves, so we intend to focus only on the England tournament for now, and once that is completed, then we can begin to think about the Amsterdam competition. We have faced all of these teams in the competition so far and they defeated us each time, so we are aware of the big task ahead.’ Despite facing a baptism of fire on the World Series and the team currently ranked 12th on the log standings, Dazel believed that his team was on the right track. He says: ‘We showed a marked improvement in our defence and attack in Canada last month and if we can build on that in the next two weeks we will be able to show that we have made progress as a team in the last few months. We have two tournaments left and there is nothing to lose, so we will give our best and hopefully a few results will go our way.’
Springbok Women’s Sevens England World Series fixtures (reflecting SA one hour behind London):
12:50 – England vs SA
15:12 – Canada vs SA
17:56 – Russia vs SA