In terms of consistency, finishing seventh one week and winning the next may not be ideal, but it’s something the Springbok Sevens team managed to pull off, as recently as last month.
Such a turn-around is possible again, believes Shakes Soyizwapi, who will captain the Blitzboks at the Singapore Sevens this weekend.
The Blitzboks ended in a disappointing seventh place at the Hong Kong Sevens last weekend and that performance can be turned around, said Soyizwapi, as the team did it before in the North American leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series last month.
Then, the Blitzboks slumped out of Las Vegas after finishing seventh, but left Vancouver a week later with the Canada Sevens trophy in tow. When asked if they can do it again, Soyizwapi replied with a determined yes.
“We can fix it,” the winger said after he again stood proud next to the 15 other captains for the traditional Captains Photo before every tournament.
“The individual mistakes we made, only we can fix them. We made the errors, it is our responsibility to make sure we don't repeat them this weekend,” said Soyizwapi.
“The second week of any tournament cycle is always reflective anyway. We are toning down on training, which leaves more time for analysis and reflecting what happened the week before – where things went wrong, where things worked.”
Soyizwapi said taking responsibility and fixing the inaccuracies is a given this week. It does feel a little bit like post-Las Vegas as well, he admitted.
“Like that weekend, we are not down and out,” said Soyizwapi.
“We did many good things and there is still a positive feeling about what we can do and achieve. There is also, most importantly, the admission that we made mistakes, and the desire to fix them.”
The reviews were productive, he said: “It is all about getting on the same page and having the same desire to make it happen. We have stuck to the same routine from the North American leg, so we are confident that we can again have a positive result.”
The Pools for the Singapore Sevens –
A: Fiji, South Africa, Scotland, Canada
B: France, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong
C: USA, England, Kenya, Wales
D: Samoa, New Zealand, Japan, Spain
Issued by SA Rugby Communications