There were mixed feelings in Moscow on Wednesday where the Springbok Men’s and Women’s teams were fine-tuning their preparations ahead of the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens, which will be held at the Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital.
The men’s tournament will be played from the 28 – 30 June, with the side facing Scotland, Japan and Russia in their pool. The Women’s tournament runs from the 29 - 30 June and features clashes against defending champions Australia, Ireland and China.
Springbok Sevens Men’s Coach Paul Treu was pleased after his full squad completed an attack session with great tempo and zest on Wednesday.
“I am happy with the effort today,” Treu said. “There is a good energy amongst the players and it is clear that their focus is on the task at hand. We will have to manage them well in the next day or two to ensure they are mentally prepared when we face Russia in our opening match of the tournament.”
Treu was all smiles as Cheslin Kolbe and Seabelo Senatla showed energy and no ill-effects from their long journey from France following the completion of the IRB Junior World Championship on Sunday.
Things were not looking as bright for Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Denver Wannies after his squad played a training match against Spain in sweltering heat at one of the outer fields of the impressive Luzhniki Sports Complex.
Unfortunately playmaker Zenay Jordaan sustained a knee injury during the morning session and did not participate in the clash.
“We did a few good things out there, but it is clear that some of the players needed a wake-up call today,” said Wannies.
“We are here to win, and that requires everyone to be switched on, which was not the case against Spain.”
“Fortunately Zenay will be back as it was confirmed that her injury was merely a bruise. It is clear, however, that our decision-making was not as good as it should have been. But I am happy with our discipline and defence, as those were areas we worked on back in South Africa.”
“Our goal is at least a repeat of our semi-final place in Dubai (in the 2009 World Cup) and we are on track. But I expected a bit more awareness out there,” Wannies said.
The men visited Moscow’s Red Square during a morning break, with the Women set to visit the iconic attraction on Thursday.