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Preview: BlitzBoks out to right the wrongs in Monaco

SPOTLIGHT: The BlitzBoks will be looking for some joy at the end of a tough season in the HSBC SVNS World Series.


They will take part in the World Rugby Sevens Repechage tournament in Monaco this weekend at the Stade Louis II where the goal is simple: win and a spot at the Paris Olympics is guaranteed.

Head coach Philip Snyman made it clear that it is exactly what they plan to do in what he calls “their most important tournament in the last two years”.

Snyman took the coaching reigns halfway through a tough HSBC SVNS season.

Despite that it was too late to steer the side to automatic qualification by finishing in the top four of the SVNS standings (as with the previous two Olympics) they do have one last shot at it.

“We are facing some really good teams this weekend, but we are also playing ourselves and I believe that our lead-up preparation has settled the mindset,” explains Snyman.

“We worked hard, especially on defence, and I have faith and confidence in the team that we selected for this massive task. A spot at the Olympics will give the season so much meaning,” reckons Snyman.


Snyman – an Olympic bronze medalist himself admitted that the lure of Paris is huge – but to not look past Mexico which is the first hurdle to overcome on Friday afternoon.

“We need to slog it out game for game. Mexico might not be a regular on the SVNS circuit, but we won’t underestimate them at all. Like us, they also have ambitions and we must respect that. We are just looking at ourselves and setting the tempo for Saturday and Sunday,” Snyman said.

Defence wins tournaments

“We know what we can do with ball in hand, and our weakness was defence. That is a mindset, something I think we managed to turn around over the last couple of weeks,” explains Snyman.

Selvyn Davids, captain of the BlitzBoks, who played in the Tokyo Olympics, stated that a win in Monaco would salvage pride for the team and put them on track for a possible gold medal in Paris.

“This could be a massive turnaround for us. We did not reach our original target of a top-four spot, but now we have another opportunity, and we must use it.


“The squad is motivated, for sure. The Olympics are the biggest thing in sport and every sportsperson wants to be part of that. We have this big opportunity now and it will be silly to waste it,” he said.


(Kick-off is local time – GMT plus two hours)


Friday, June 21:

Spain v Brazil – 14.40
Canada v Uganda – 15.04
Great Britain v China – 15.28
Chile v Tonga – 16.20
South Africa v Mexico – 16.44

Saturday, June 22

Hong Kong China v Brazil – 11.40
Canada v China – 12.04
Great Britain v Uganda – 12.28
Chile v Mexico – 13.20
South Africa v Tonga – 13.44
Spain v Hong Kong China – 15.28
Uganda v China – 15.52
Tonga v Mexico – 16.16
Great Britain v Canada – 17.32
South Africa v Chile – 17.56


Friday, June 21:

Poland v Czech Republic – 13.00
China v Mexico – 13.24
Hong Kong China v Paraguay – 13.48
Uganda v Jamaica – 14.12
Argentina v Samoa – 15.56

Saturday, June 22

Poland v Mexico – 10.00
China v Czech Republic – 10.24
Hong Kong China v Jamaica – 10.48
Uganda v Paraguay – 11.12
Kenya v Samoa 12.56
Czech Republic v Mexico – 14.12
China v Poland – 14.36
Paraguay v Jamaica – 15.00
Uganda v Hong Kong China – 16.44
Argentina v Kenya – 17. 08

*Play-offs start at 09.30 on Sunday


Source: SA Rugby





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