Sea’s occasion for a celebration
Sevens star Kok upbeat as he savours an amazing century of sheer joy
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.”