Women 7s ready for Africa tournament

Delport confident that hard work will reap rewards

 Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Paul Delport is confident that his side’s third preparation camp for the Rugby Africa Sevens tournament next month has laid a solid foundation as they approach the event in Tunisia, now only six weeks away.

The camp concluded in Stellenbosch last Thursday and Delport said their objectives were achieved and standards confirmed for the side.

“This was our last camp. We will get together at the HPC in Pretoria a month from now to focus on the African Cup, our first international tournament in more than two years. We will leave for Tunisia on 26 April, so the Pretoria camp will just be prepping for that tournament, where we will face Senegal and Zimbabwe in our pool matches.”

Delport applauded the effort of the 15-strong squad that arrived in Stellenbosch last weekend: “They really acquitted themselves well this week and I am going to have some real thinking to do on the final 12 players to travel north next month.

“They made it tough for me and that was exactly what I wanted them to do, so well done to the players.

“We are also looking forward to the Toulouse tournament, another opportunity where this talented group of players will be able to showcase their talents.”

Delport said they intentionally put players under pressure during this camp.

“We did some things differently this time around – we started last Friday, had a captain’s run and played matches against Western Province and Boland on Saturday,” he explained.

“We achieved what we wanted out of those, it was more about getting our distance and speed on defence up against those teams, who had fifteens players in their squads.

“We then had a fantastic session against the SAS Academy run by Philip Snyman, where we could focus on set plays, live lineouts and scrums, as playing against men challenges you in different ways.”

Delport said the way the players finished the camp on Thursday, training with a great attitude and executing what they had been working on, was heart-warming as a coach: “We had a brilliant finish, we wanted to test the players in a game scenario environment and that went well.

“They responded very well and that was very pleasing. We did a lot of breakdown work today, with the players told to identify space during big moments, and they responded in the way we wanted.”

Eloise Webb in action during a practise run.
Simamkele Namba at the Stellenbosch training camp.

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