Bl­itzBoks must make a fast start

Cut­ting out er­rors also cru­cial at home CAPE TOWN SQUAD

Daily News - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW @Wynon­aLouw Squad:

THE BL­ITZBOKS need to make a state­ment this week­end and they need to do so in their very first game to­mor­row.

Those are the words of ex­pe­ri­enced Bl­itzBok Branco du Preez.

The South Africans have been grouped in Pool A with New Zealand, Samoa and Zim­babwe for the Cape Town leg of the World Sevens Series af­ter their sixth-place fin­ish in Dubai.

While Du Preez said they have to put what hap­pened in Dubai be­hind them, he raised a num­ber of things they need to do dif­fer­ently at Cape Town Sta­dium.

“We were not at our best, but that is in the past now. This week­end in Cape Town is all that mat­ters. We are ex­pect­ing good sup­port and we hope to give the Bl­itzBoks sup­port­ers some­thing to cheer about,” he said.

On fac­ing New Zealand in their fi­nal pool match to­mor­row evening, Du Preez said: “They are play­ing a very ba­sic game plan and limit their mis­takes.

“They are also very pa­tient on at­tack and only strike when they see the de­fence is stretch­ing.

“So we need to make sure we make dom­i­nant tack­les against them in or­der to throw them off their rhythm on at­tack.

“We re­spect all teams and will not look past our first two op­po­nents,” said Du Preez. COACH Neil Pow­ell named the same 12man squad from last week­end to front up in the Cape Town Sta­dium to­mor­row. With Justin Geduld back, Selvyn Davids will again be the of­fi­cial re­place­ment.

Impi Visser, Philip Sny­man (capt), Ryan Oosthuizen, Zain Davids, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Rosko Spec­man, Justin Geduld, De­wald Hu­man, Siviwe Soy­izwapi, Muller du Plessis, Selvyn Davids

“We want to make a state­ment this week­end and that will start in the first game on Satur­day.”

Werner Kok agreed with Du Preez, and also said that they won’t be wear­ing the favourites’ tag.

“This will be a huge week­end for us. In a way, we are not the favourites, although the crowd will ex­pect us to do well. The likes of New Zealand, Aus­tralia, USA and Eng­land will be favourites af­ter Dubai.”

Kok, who has played 190 matches for the Bl­itzBoks and scored 87 tries, feels a strong de­fen­sive ef­fort from his side could tip the scales in their favour.

“We need to de­fend bet­ter. We slipped off too many tack­les in Dubai, it is as sim­ple as that,” said Kok.

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