Blitzboks 'ok' without Smith and Senatla

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 10:46
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SEVENS SPOTLIGHT: Despite the loss of Albertus Smith and Seabelo Senatla, Blitzboks coach Neil Powell has faith the new guys can fill the void in Las Vegas.

For Springbok Sevens coach Powell, it is all about momentum and consistency when the team starts their Pool A commitments against Canada in the Sam Boyd Stadium.

"We are aiming among other things to maintain those because if we do, it will deliver a good result," said Powell.

"We have lost the likes of [Albertus Smith and Seabelo Senatla], but if the new guys can step in without disrupting our rhythm, we should be ok. They know what their roles are and I have faith in their abilities,"

Powell pointed to Siviwe Soyizwapi as their key man, having replaced Senatla: "We are lucky to have experienced campaigners such as Cecil Afrika and Stephan Dippenaar back in the mix, but I am keen to see Siviwe respond to the challenge of filling Sea's boots. I think he is going to surprise a lot of people,"

While for the Blitzboks skipper Phillip Snyman, the idea of running onto a rugby field with his fellow Blitzboks still excites him, despite playing in his 43rd tournament.

"It is hard to believe we are almost halfway through the series, but that does not take away any of the fun or commitment from the team," Snyman said.

"The fact of the matter is, we still need to start from the base, even after five tournaments. Nothing that happened in the first four will mean anything here in Vegas.

"We need to start from scratch, but have the hindsight of what worked previously. Those are laying a solid foundation, building momentum and believing in our structures and teammates," he added.

The experienced player, who has scored 246 points in his Blitzbok career so far, is comfortable with the abilities of the squad, despite been without the likes of Smith, Kyle Brown, Tim Agaba and Senatla.

"We have lost some personnel, but there are some new faces coming into the mix and fitting in very well," he said.

"I think we have prepared brilliantly and everyone is on the same commitment level. There is a good vibe in the squad and we want to get going,"

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