April 19, 2024

Blitzboks determined to deliver in Vancouver Sevens in Canada

It took them just over 30 hours to get from Cape Town to Vancouver, but for the Springbok Sevens it is all part of the job and uncomfortable travel will not deter their ambition to deliver a winning performance in Canada this weekend.

That is the view of Blitzbok stalwart Ryan Oosthuizen after the squad arrived in British Columbia for the HSBC SVNS Vancouver, the fourth of eight tournaments in the 2024 season.

Oosthuizen said the good work done back home in Stellenbosch has given them confidence to improve on their fifth-place finish in Perth last month.

“Look, it was a long time travelling and one does feel cramped in after a while, adding to a long layover in Frankfurt, but we are here now, and the focus will be on how to get the job done this weekend. At least the temperature is down from the heat in Stellenbosch, so that is a good start,” the 46-tournament veteran said.

“We are an experienced group, so by now, we understand the routine of recovering from a long-haul flight such as this and how to combat the effects of jet lag. We are playing on Friday already, so the recovery is key.”

Oosthuizen said everyone is aware of the importance of the next two tournament of the series, with good performances at BC Place and in Los Angeles next weekend important to stay in the hunt for the overall title. South Africa is in fourth position (42 points) alongside Ireland, behind Australia and Fiji (44) with Argentina (58) topping the log.

“We realise that we need to deliver on this trip,” said Oosthuizen. “I am confident we will, we worked hard at home, have good experience in the squad and some players are in very good form for us, so that all points to a competitive showing.”

The Blitzbok forward is outranked in experience by only Justin Geduld, who makes a return to the squad after being rested for the Australia leg of the series.

Geduld, who has played 56 SVNS tournaments for South Africa, said there is confidence in the camp, despite a tough pool draw against New Zealand, Ireland and Great Britain.

Geduld said he loves playing in Canada: “This is a nice tournament and I love coming here, despite the cold. The rest gave me a good boost, I worked hard in that time and will be ready to deliver my best this weekend.

“Every time you are not selected, it hurts, even though the rest was good for me. Everyone in the squad is keen to play this weekend and that bodes well. There is a good mood amongst the guys and when we are in a happy place, we always play well.”

For Geduld, the variety of skills in the squad should bring results: “We have a wide variety of skills and everyone in the squad is keen to deliver this weekend. If that happens, we will be a tough team to beat.”

SOURCE: SA RUGBY

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