Werner Kok will be a key component of the Blitzboks’ plan to clinch the Cape Town Sevens title this weekend, and the fiery finisher admits that a stint in the 15-man format has improved his game.
“Fifteens no doubt forced me to be more physical and to be dominant in the tackle situation, which helps on defence as you force the opposition into slower ball on attack,” said Kok, who helped Western Province on their Currie Cup title run this year
“We aim to be physical at the breakdowns. We are not the biggest team on the circuit, so we need to make sure we execute in that area,” added the 24-year-old.
Training sessions at the Blitzboks’ Stellenbosch base are notoriously tough, with all squad members identifying Kok as the hardest guy to contend with during training.
That relentless attitude at training has also become a trademark of the blonde winger’s mindset during matches the 2015 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year is not letting up.
England won the 2016 Cape Town Sevens and Kok says the Blitzboks are eager to make amends: “After we lost in the final last year, we want to go one better. Not only for ourselves, but for the country.”
Meanwhile, playmaker Justin Geduld is looking forward to building on his successful return to duty in Dubai last week after a long recovery from a foot injury suffered in Las Vegas in March.
Raised in Ravensmead, Cape Town and a Tygerberg High old boy, Geduld is very happy to be back on the field, and can’t wait to run out in front of the home fans and family.
“It was great to be back on the field in Dubai and this weekend will even be better,” said Geduld after the Blitzboks concluded their preparations for the second of ten tournaments in the World Series.
“I played in a warm-up tournament in October, but the World Series is what really matters, as it is where you are tested against the best players in the world.”
Geduld is equally at home as a starter or making an impact off the bench: “We have strong competition within the squad and that is nice, but the bottom line is that we all need to contribute, whether you play two or 12 minutes. So you always have the motivation to do your best for the team.”
The tournament kicks off at 10.15am on Saturday, with Samoa and Canada playing in the opening game. South Africa will face Russia at 12.49pm, France at 4.10pm and Kenya at 7.56pm.