Specman: We want to make it special

Fri, 19 May 2017 10:56

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Playmaker Rosko Specman says the BlitzBoks want to end a successful Sevens World Series on a high at the London Sevens.

South Africa face Kenya, Wales, and the USA in Pool A of the tournament, the final one of the 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series.
 
Specman, who proved to be a real talisman for the World Series champions in 2017, appreciates the fact that this will be the last opportunity for this current squad to play together.

"We have been training since September last year and have been in each other's company since then, so we have established a wonderful bond," said Specman.

"We really are a band of brothers. This tournament will be the last for this group to play together and we want to make it special."
 
South Africa clinched the series when they won their fifth tournament in Paris last weekend and will officially be crowned champions on Sunday, another motivation for the team to give it one more push, Specman feels.
 
"The pressure to win the series is gone, but we are still under pressure from ourselves to deliver a performance to be proud of," said Specman.

"I think though, we will also be out to celebrate our successes this year by expressing ourselves and play with joy."

Last year, the BlitzBoks came to Twickenham still within the grasp of the overall series title, but Fiji gained enough points to retain the series trophy. South Africa made the Final, but suffered a heart-breaking loss when Scotland scored the winning points after the final buzzer.

"That was very disappointing yes, we felt terrible. But that was also the start of us making finals, and we learned from that experience. So although we lost that one, we learned valuable lessons that helped us winning five finals out of eight since," Specman said.

The Grahamstown-raised player has often swung the momentum of tight matches towards South Africa with his attacking prowess and was named Player of the Final in Las Vegas.

"Those accolades are great, but it remains a team effort. I will still want to go out and make the tournament's Dream Team, but my responsibilities within our structures will come first," said Specman, who scored 17 tries this season, including a spectacular one in the semifinal of the Paris Sevens against New Zealand last weekend.

The team's leading points' scorer of all time, Cecil Afrika, credited the coaching staff for much of the success the team enjoyed this season.

"They really put a foundation in place for us, with the preparations and game plan. We just need to go out and execute that," Afrika said.

"We go into every match with a proper plan and the coach gives us pretty clear instructions. Within that structure, we then go out and put our bodies on the line for our team mates and country. That is why we were successful this year."

The 29-year old was a rookie squad member of the 2008/09 team that won the World Series, but did not play in any tournaments.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Lions v Jaguares 47 | 27
Waratahs v Stormers 34 | 27
Crusaders v Chiefs 45 | 23
Sunwolves v Brumbies 25 | 32
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
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
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
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 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