Winning the only goal for Blitzboks in Madrid

rugby30 May 2024 11:12
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The Springbok Sevens team need to return to their proven ability of winning all six matches of a HSBC SVNS tournament and kick-starting that habit again is pretty high on their agenda in Spain this weekend.

That is according to Philip Snyman as the Blitzboks completed their preparations for the final tournament of the 2024 series, the HSBC SVNS Grand Final, to be played in Civitas Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid from 31 May to 2 June.

For the Blitzboks’ interim head coach, a winning start – and finish – will not only redeem some of the hard work done since he took over the reins almost two months ago, but it will also get the team in the correct mind-set for their Olympic repechage tournament in Monaco next month.

“To win here in Madrid and become the Grand Final champion, you need to win all of your matches – it’s as simple as that,” said Snyman.

“In a month's time, in order for us to get the ticket to the Paris Olympics, you need to win all your matches. So where better to get into that mindset than here?”


Snyman feels that certain fundamentals in the Blitzboks’ game are returning and with that, the squad's ability to win the games that matter.

“We have done well by winning our pools in both Hong Kong and Singapore, only to mess up in the quarterfinals,” he said.

“We need that edge again that will win us the knock-out games too. It is no use to be able to beat anyone on the circuit, like we can, only to come up short in the playoffs.”

Snyman tweaked the team's defensive strategy, which is something they focused on in the last couple of weeks: “We all know how dangerous this team can be with ball in hand, but we needed to be better in other aspects of the game and I think we have turned that around.

“There are enough experience and play-making abilities in the squad, we now need to find the correct combinations for Monaco too.”

The Blitzbok coach is keen to use Madrid as a front-runner to the important tournament in Monaco.

“We are playing Ireland, New Zealand and Fiji, who all qualified for Paris already, so they will not have that on their minds,” said Snyman.

“For us, the Monaco tournament will be crucial, but in saying that, what happens here in Madrid will lay the foundation for Monaco, so it is very important to get it right here this weekend. We are going to test some combinations and give some game time to returning players, but those tweaks will not take away our goal – to return to winning ways.”

All eight teams in the Grand Finale will complete their pool games on Friday and Saturday, with the top two sides from each pool progressing to the semifinals on Sunday.

Grand Finale pools:

A: Argentina, Australia, France, Great Britain

B: Ireland, New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa

Blitzbok pool fixtures (live on SuperSport)

Friday, 31 May:

14h37: Ireland

Saturday 1 June:

12h44: New Zealand

15h49: Fiji