Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell says the once-off nature of the sevens competition at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will require a different mindset.
“For us it will be a challenge, because you only get one opportunity as opposed to the World Series format, where you can rectify things the next weekend if things didn’t go well for you in a tournament,” Powell said.
The Blitzboks currently lead the race to the World Rugby Sevens Series title, with one tournament to go, at the end of August in Los Angeles.
According to Powell, the challenge of the Games will require a unique approach: “It’s all or nothing because there is no second chance [the following weekend].”
The SA men are drawn in a strong pool which consists of Malaysia, Tonga and Scotland for the tournament to be staged at the Coventry Stadium.
The matches against Malaysia and Tonga are on Friday, while the clash with Scotland is scheduled for Saturday, with the quarter-finals later in the day.
“We start off with Malaysia and the important thing for us would be to get straight into our flow in that first game,” said Powell.
“Then we know Tonga will always be physical, and if we give them too much ball possession, they will make your pay for it.
“Scotland are a really good team. They managed to beat us the last time we met, so we have to perform and hopefully do better against them. If we can manage to get out of our group then we cross pools [for the quarter-finals] with a group consisting of Fiji, Canada and Wales.”
All group matches and the men’s quarter-finals – between the top-two teams from each pool – are scheduled for 29 and 30 July, with semi-finals and medal matches to be played on 31 July.
South Africa men’s sevens pool schedule:
SA vs Malaysia, 12:56pm
SA vs Tonga, 9:48pm
SA vs Scotland, 1:18pm
SA men’s team – Sakoyisa Makata, Christie Grobbelaar, James Murphy, Zain Davids, Angelo Davids, JC Pretorius, Ronald Brown, Selvyn Davids, Shaun Williams, Dewald Human, Siviwe Soyizwapi (c), Muller du Plessis, Mfundo Ndhlovu.