‘Great fans make it spe­cial’ – Brown

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - WYNONA LOUW

AF­TER play­ing in 66 World Sevens Se­ries tour­na­ments, Kyle Brown is one player who would be able to tell you just what makes a tour­na­ment spe­cial.

Brown is two tour­na­ments short of equalling Frankie Horne’s record for the most World Sevens Se­ries tour­na­ment ap­pear­ances by a Bl­itzbok (68).

And when he runs out for his 67th at Cape Town Sta­dium to­day, the for­mer Bl­itzbok skip­per will be look­ing to the crowd of 50 000-plus to help him bag an­other tour­na­ment win on home soil af­ter hav­ing done so in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Ge­orge.

“Since the days in Ge­orge, we had fan­tas­tic sup­port play­ing at home,” said Brown.

“That spilled over to Port Elizabeth and now in Cape Town, it is just amaz­ing. The amount of sup­port we get is just won­der­ful and hum­bling.

“Peo­ple have been so faith­ful in sup­port­ing the South African leg of the World Se­ries and that is great.”

“Ev­ery­one loves this tour­na­ment and the other teams of­ten tell us how they en­joy play­ing here. The crowds are great and this is one of the best set­tings you will find.”

Af­ter two tough sea­sons due to in­jury, Brown re­called the spe­cial Cape Town Sta­dium mo­ments of 2016 be­fore he went down with a knee in­jury that would keep him on the side­lines for 10 months.

“We ran onto the field, the flames were go­ing and it felt like ev­ery­one in the crowd were wav­ing a South African flag – more than 50 000 of them. That mo­ment – feel­ing that ev­ery­one is be­hind you – was one of my very best feel­ings in the 10 years I played on the World Se­ries. Our spec­ta­tors are so great.”

As Brown said, there are many things to look for­ward to as Sevens fever con­tin­ues to rise to­day.

For Spring­bok Sevens coach Neil Pow­ell, it’s the chance at re­demp­tion that stands out most for him af­ter their 6th-place fin­ish in the open­ing tour­na­ment in Dubai.

“Know­ing the play­ers, they will all be des­per­ate to cor­rect last week­end’s dis­ap­point­ments,” Pow­ell said.

“We have learnt lessons from last week­end, but that is also true for the other teams in the tour­na­ment.”

“Ev­ery­body knows a lit­tle more of each other than was the case last week, so it will be tougher to break down de­fences, no doubt. We know we can only im­prove from last week and that is a nice prospect.”

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