Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman says the team will be hoping to end the World Series campaign on a positive note at the final tournament in London.
The Springbok Sevens suffered a shock 21-10 loss to Samoa during the Cup quarter-finals at the Paris leg last weekend. This came after an impressive unbeaten run during the pool stage with convincing victories over England (24-5), Australia (31-0) and Brazil (30-7).
Although South Africa went on to beat New Zealand (29-19) and Australia (17-7) en route to the Plate title, it was still an overall disappointing result for the national sevens side.
Skipper Snyman hopes the players will be able to bounce back at Twickenham this weekend.
“Twickers is always a wonderful venue. We’ve enjoyed fantastic moments in London in previous seasons,” Snyman told MyPlayers.
“We want to finish this campaign on a high note. We feel that we owe it to ourselves and the supporters back home. We want to make South Africa proud.
“London will be the last tournament of the season, so we have to make the most of the opportunity. If we are able to do well this weekend, it will send a great tone heading into our preparations for the Olympics in August. So this is a vital weekend.”
Snyman added that defeat to Samoa last weekend highlighted the competitiveness of sevens rugby.
“In terms of the season, I think we’ve been doing very well. We have fell short on a few occasions and the ball hasn’t always bounced our way. But we will learn from these experiences,” said Snyman.
“The knockout structures are ‘do or die’, like we experienced against Samoa. We need to ensure we are able to build on to the momentum created during the pool stages. The objective is always to reach the Cup final.”
The Blitzboks will face a tough pool, which includes Samoa, Canada and the USA. Snyman stressed that the team will need to perform at its best to advance to the Cup play-offs at the London Sevens.
“This pool will really test us. Samoa, Canada and the USA are all really good teams. Samoa and Canada still have to qualify for the Olympics and they’ll be determined to do well in London, so we need to be up for the challenge,” said Snyman.
“This is also the last tournament for the players to put up their hands ahead of the Olympics. Hopefully, this will motivate a positive contribution from everyone in the team. Like I said, we want to make the country proud this weekend.”
By Gareth Duncan