Sea’s oc­ca­sion for a cel­e­bra­tion

Sevens star Kok up­beat as he savours an amaz­ing cen­tury of sheer joy

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW

IT ALL started back in 2013 for Spring­bok Sevens su­per­star Se­abelo Se­natla – the tries, the ex­hil­a­rat­ing runs and the kind of flair that saw him reach the high­est ranks on the world Sevens cir­cuit at just 23.

And this week­end, the World Sevens Player of the Year will get to thrill at the same sta­dium where he made his in­ter­na­tional de­but, the West­pac Sta­dium in Welling­ton, New Zealand.

But this tour­na­ment is an ex­tra spe­cial one for Se­natla, as he will be chas­ing the Bl­itzboks’ all-time try-scor­ing record, held by for­mer Sevens great Fabian Ju­ries, and he’s not far off.

The speed­ster is only seven tries short of the record, with Ju­ries, who re­tired from in­ter­na­tional Sevens in 2010, on 179 and Se­natla on 172.

But, de­spite this, Se­natla said that break­ing the record won’t be his fo­cus this week­end.

“The record is in the back of my mind, but I am not stress­ing about it,” said Se­natla.

“We need to go out and do the work first and if the tries come, they will come. If they don’t, so be it.

“I am not go­ing to chase the record and not do my job in the team first.”

Se­natla, who will be play­ing in his last two Sevens tour­na­ments in the se­ries in Welling­ton and Syd­ney, will boost the Storm­ers’ speed stocks in two weeks’ time.

Break­ing the record is quite doable for Se­natla, and the fact that he ran in 11 tries in Dubai is tes­ta­ment to that.

And, al­though he won’t be stress­ing about it, he ad­mit­ted that it would be “great” to reach that mile­stone at the same venue where he scored his first in­ter­na­tional try.

“My job then was to score tries and that is still my job in the team this time around, so I am hop­ing all goes well for me,” he smiled.

“I am go­ing out there to do my best for the team and if the tries come, it will be great.”

Mean­while, two-time World Rugby Sevens Player of Year, Werner Kok, is set to reach a mile­stone of his own when he plays in his 100th match for the Bl­itzboks in Welling­ton.

“I was not even aware of the fact that I will be play­ing in my 100th match, but that will not change my ap­proach,” said Kok.

“Ev­ery match, pulling that jer­sey over your head, is spe­cial.

“I can re­mem­ber the first time and I will re­mem­ber the 100th one as well.

“It is an im­por­tant week­end for us. We have not won here in more than 10 years, so we have all to play for.”

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