The Blitzboks will be eyeing an explosive finish to the year at the Cape Town leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series which kicks off at the weekend after storming to tournament honours in the opening leg of the 2019/20 season in Dubai on December 7.
The Bok Sevens belted favourites New Zealand 7’s 15-0 in the final to capture the first of ten tournaments which will climax with the France Sevens tournament in May next year. With the attention now firmly fixed on Cape Town, the team will look to feed off the tumultuous excitement that Sevens brings to the fore in the Mother City.
In 2016, Justin Geduld missed a crucial conversion in the final before leaving the field close to tears. Despite this, the Blitzbok playmaker has made known that he cannot wait to get back onto the Cape Town Stadium pitch on Friday. Fellow Blitzbok, Chris Dry – who in 2018 had the unfortunate experience of snapping his knee ligaments to be ruled out of the remainder of the series – in almost the same way left the venue feeling distressed and dejected last time out.
But it is the stadium’s buzz and explosion which emanates from the crowd that presents as alluring for the Bok 7’s duo. “It is that energy you get from the crowd that makes playing at home so great – nothing lifts you like the Cape Town crowd,” Dry explained. “Even yesterday, during our open training session, one could feel the difference [which the crowd in the stadium makes.”
Dry added that the team’s thrill of playing in their own back yard is always enhanced during the Cape Town series. “We want to enjoy ourselves, and being at home makes the enjoyment so much greater,” he said. Sharing his teammate’s sentiments, Geduld said even basic training takes on a uniquely emotive experience when spectators come out in their numbers for the captain’s run.
“The crowd does not always know but that extra burst of energy which comes from them does have an effect. The weekend, like every other one on the circuit, will again be very competitive and that extra burst of energy provided by the crowd will give us extra meter,” added Geduld.