Brown challenges Blitzboks to meet own high standards
Blitzbok skipper Kyle Brown has challenged his team to put their 29-0 drubbing by Australia in the final of the Sydney Sevens last week behind them and rather strive to play as well as they did in the semi-final against the USA.
Brown will lead the side for the first time since early 2016 with regular skipper Philip Snyman missing leg four in Hamilton this weekend due to a hamstring injury.
The side is also without the powerful Ruhan Nel‚ who sustained a knee injury‚ but Brown expects the team to fulfil their own high standards‚ regardless of who is out injured.
"We progressed so well during the week into the tournament and then came that final‚” said Brown‚ the third most capped Blitzboks player ever. “Australia were fantastic‚ but we were really poor.
"Maybe the moment was too big for us‚ but the fact is that we had some great matches during the tournament‚ such as the semi-final against the USA. “That is the type of performance what we want to replicate this weekend.
"We like to judge ourselves on our own effort and we did not implement that in the final. That will drive us this weekend.” Brown said that Snyman’s ability would be missed but that there were no excuses and intimated that incoming players Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Zain Davids and new 13th man Muller du Plessis would have to step.
"There are a good couple of leaders in the squad‚ and a great bunch of guys‚ so I am pleased to lead them‚” said Brown. “In fact‚ leading the team will not be the most difficult part of taking over from Philip.
"It would rather be on the field where he adds that something extra. He is ruthless on the ground and on defence and whoever takes over from him in the starting line-up will have big shoes to fill this weekend.
"We are looking forward to the weekend.
"I am happy for Muller‚ who was still at school last year‚ as we are looking to build depth in the group.
"He and Zain will be keen to slot in‚ but they only arrive in the early hours of the morning and the field session tomorrow will be testing for them for sure. “The guys are flushed out and we will train as a squad tomorrow‚ which will get the focus back. As will the defence session on Thursday.
"The series have become just so unpredictable and we are expecting more of the same this weekend.”