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Powell: Commonwealth Games require different mindset for Bok Sevens

29 July 2022 - 11:12 By SPORT REPORTER
Siviwe Soyizwapi of SA during the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series match against France at The Sevens Stadium on December 4 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Siviwe Soyizwapi of SA during the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series match against France at The Sevens Stadium on December 4 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Image: David Van Der Sandt/Gallo Images

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell reckons the Rugby Sevens at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, England will require a different mindset because of the nature of the event — a once-off, three-day competition hosted every four years.

“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,” explained Powell.

The Springbok Sevens currently lead the race to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title, with one tournament to go at the end of August in Los Angeles.

According to Powell, the unique nature of the Commonwealth Games tournament will require a different approach and mindset: “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 against Scotland is scheduled for Saturday morning, with the quarter-finals later the same 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 you 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 Friday  and Saturday, with semi-finals and medal matches to be played on Sunday.

SA men's will face Malaysia (12.56 pm), and then Tonga (9.48pm) on Friday.


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