‘Incredible atmosphere’ excites Blitzboks

The Blitzboks are counting on a packed Cape Town Stadium to get them out of the starting blocks when the race for the 2022 World Cup trophy kicks off on Friday. JACK DYLAN reports.

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“We will continue to strive for that perfection. If we lack perfection, then at least we will achieve excellence,” says Captain Siviwe Soyizwapi.

The Blitzboks have completed their preparation for the seven-a-side World Cup at home, which for them begins with a round of 16 clash against Germany or Chile at 7.03pm on Friday.

“It’s a huge home tournament in front of our fans, so we’re really excited,” said Soyizwapi.

“It’s going to be really special. We haven’t had a rugby sevens here in Cape Town since December 2019, so we’re all excited to be racing there this weekend and representing the country. We know how the stadium can become, the atmosphere is incredible. The fans make the tournament. We’re waiting impatiently.”

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As in 2018, the 7-a-side World Cup will retain its knockout format, with each team starting the tournament in the round of 16.

“The knockout factor doesn’t change our mindset,” Soyizwapi said.

“Again, we are focused on getting the game as perfect as possible. We are focused on ourselves as a team and the standards we have maintained as a system. We will continue this game perfect from day one, game 1. The result will take care of itself.

The opportunity that awaits this weekend is not lost on the Blitzboks as they could replicate the Springboks’ 2019 World Cup victory and inspire a nation.

“That would be huge,” Soyizwapi said. “It would be amazing for South African rugby and it would be great for the nation as well. We all know what sport can do for our country but, again, we are fully focused on ourselves as a team and the performance we want to deliver this weekend.

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Photo: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

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