The Springbok Women’s Sevens team almost caused two of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport when they ran New Zealand and Fiji close in their first two matches of the Dubai leg of the World Sevens Series.
The South Africans were undone in both matches by late tries, as New Zealand scored long-range effort to win 19-14. Fiji also needed a bit of magic in the last 90 seconds to come out 21-17 winners.
However, the performances should be a confidence booster for the SA Women’s team who look a much-improved outfit under coach Renfred Dazel, who have taken them from cannon fodder to a truly competitive outfit.
Meanwhile, stand-in Blitzboks coach Phillip Snyman was happy with his team’s 22-14 victory against Samoa in their Pool A opener in Dubai.
“The first game of the tournament is always the toughest, especially against a team like Samoa,” Snyman said.
“In the first two minutes they kept the ball and put points on the board. Then the guys came back and showed a lot of character, hanging on to our ball and then the points came. Very happy how the guys took control.”
However, Snyman says they have a lot of room for improvement ahead of their next matches against Canada and the New Zealand Sevens team.
“We still made a lot of mistakes and there were tries that we left on the field. Later in the tournament you get limited chances, so once we get into the 22, we have to convert into points,” the former star Blitzbok forward said.
“But there are always nerves in the first game. This is a great performance to build on and we can only go from strength to strength now.”