Springbok Women’s Sevens captain Zintle Mpupha believes the team can reach the knock-out stage of the Cape Town Sevens this coming weekend. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
In what will be their maiden participation at the Cape Town Sevens, the Springbok Women’s Sevens side will face New Zealand, Fiji and Russia in Pool A of the women’s division.
New Zealand are the reigning World Sevens Series champions and got their title defence off the perfect start when they clinched the Dubai Sevens title last week. Russia and Fiji are both core teams on the circuit, but finished last season in seventh and 10th place, respectively.
Mpupha, who has been captain of the side since 2018, is adamant that they can beat their opponents despite their limited game time against core teams on the circuit.
‘We do need more time playing with the core teams on the circuit to be able to consistently compete against top teams. It is our job to ensure we qualify to play as a core team next year and that is our main goal at the moment,’ she said.
‘But saying that, going into Cape Town Sevens, we have the element of surprise. Our strength is that we’re a physically dominant team. And the fact that no one actually knows us because we don’t play on the circuit, gives us an advantage because they don’t know what to expect,’ Mpupha explained.
‘The team target is to win two games at least and progress to the playoffs. We’ll take it one game at a time, but it can be done.’
Mpupha says the fact they will be playing in front their home crowd will have a big impact on the team’s performance.
‘Well, to be playing at any leg of the World Series is a dream come true for us. But more so in Cape Town, because we never get home games where we play in front of our own fans. Hopefully we make the most of this rare opportunity.
‘Everyone is ready and excited, but we know we must stay in the zone and not get carried away by the crowd and the atmosphere.’
Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images