Preview: BlitzBokke eye Kiwi scalps

Thu, 01 May 2014 16:47
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South Africa may be faced with a near impossible task, but they have not given up hope of winning the IRB Sevens World Series.

South Africa may be faced with a near impossible task of overhauling New Zealand, but they have not given up hope of winning the IRB Sevens World Series.

Heading into this weekend's Glasgow leg of the World Series the BlitzBokke are seven points behind Series leaders New Zealand.

Stalwart Frankie Horne, who will make a world record 58th consecutive tournament appearance in Glasgow on Saturday, admitted they shot themselves in the foot in Hong Kong at the end of March.

After reaching the Final in five consecutive tournaments - and winning two of them - South Africa were two points ahead of the Kiwis and on course to win only their second-ever World Series title.

However, they lost to England in the quarterfinals in Hong Kong, and with New Zealand beating the English in the Final, the BlitzBokke now find themselves with plenty of ground to make up.

Horne, speaking to rugby365 ahead of the team's departure for Glasgow, said they do have a chance to rectify that.

"We are seven points behind [series leaders New Zealand], which may be just too much," Horne said, adding that the consistency shown by both New Zealand and South African this season will make it tough to close the gap.

"However, it could be a blessing in disguise that New Zealand are in our pool, as one of us could crack the other [in the pool game]," the veteran forward said.

"This, Glasgow, tournament will determine where we finish and if we both survive the pool stages we [NZ and SA] could meet each other in the Final."

He said their failure to advance to the Final in Hong Kong can be put down to the failure to use their opportunities and they also just didn't click as a team.

"We have worked on a few things in the last few weeks and hopefully it will pay dividends in Glasgow," Horne told rugby365.

"We simply have to go out and do out best."

The 31-year-old, who will captain the BlitzBokke in the absence of injured skipper Kyle Brown, played down his world record - the only player with more than 50 consecutive tournament appearances.

"It has been with grace from above and plenty of stubbornness that the body keeps going," he said, adding that he doesn't really think about the record.

"It is not something you say to yourself: 'I want to play 50 or 100 tournaments.'

"You simply world for the team tournament after tournament."

He said that if his body can last the pace for the next two years he would like to be part of the BlitzBokke squad when rugby makes a return to the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Glasgow pools:
Pool A: New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa, Portugal
Pool B: England, Canada, France, Japan
Pool C: Fiji, Wales, Argentina, Kenya
Pool D: Australia, United States, Scotland, Spain

Day One schedule - Saturday, May 3:
(Kick-off times are local - GMT plus one hour)
Game 1: Fiji v Argentina, 10.30
Game 2: Wales v Kenya, 10.52
Game 3: England v France, 11.14
Game 4: Canada v Japan, 11.36
Game 5: New Zealand v Samoa, 11.58
Game 6: South Africa v Portugal, 12.20
Game 7: Australia v Scotland, 12.42
Game 8: United States v Spain, 13.04
Game 9: Fiji v Kenya, 13.36
Game 10: Wales v Argentina, 13.58
Game 11: England v Japan, 14.20
Game 12: Canada v France, 14.42
Game 13: New Zealand v Portugal, 15.04
Game 14: South Africa v Samoa, 15.26
Game 15: Australia v Spain, 15.48
Game 16: United States v Scotland, 16.10
Game 17: Fiji v Wales, 16.47
Game 18: Argentina v Kenya, 17.09
Game 19: England v Canada, 17.31
Game 20: France v Japan, 17.53
Game 21: Samoa  v Portugal, 18.15
Game 22: New Zealand v South Africa, 18.37
Game 23: Australia v United States, 18.59
Game 24: Scotland v Spain, 19.21

 

Neil Powell's view on Glasgow Sevens!


Highlights from the 2013/14 World Series:
 

 

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Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
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Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
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Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
South Korea 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens