Dazel is preparing the squad for the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, to be played in April in Stellenbosch, and with a number of successful camps concluded, he now wants to see the successful implementation of those sessions when they play local club sides at Hermanus High School this weekend.
“It is a nice start for us, as we need to see the players in match situations and how they implement what we have been working on when under pressure,” said Dazel.
“The training camps have had good results for us, but you can only really see the benefits when a team is under pressure in matches.”
Dazel expects to get clarity on both attack and defence: “Our alignment and understanding of the defensive system and the space when we attack are things I am hoping to see executed very well. I want to see that tested.”
Dazel will have to do without Rights Mkhari, Mathrin Simmers and Asisipho Plaatjies on the weekend as they are recovering from injury, but they are not in danger of missing the Challenger Series next month.
“It will be important for all the players in the squad to show they understand our system. Rights and Mathrin are two of our most experienced players, so others will have to step in and show maturity,” he said.
One of those very keen to show the progress in her play is Zandile Masuku. The speedster missed the first couple of camps due to injury after making her debut for the team last year.
Masuku, who hails from Tzaneen, represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Games and the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series tournament in Chile last year, but an injury ended her aspirations to also play at Rugby World Cup Sevens and the HSBC Cape Town Sevens.
“We were training at Stellenbosch for the World Cup, and I injured my knee,” the 25-year-old recalled.
“That was bad for me as I had my eyes set on playing at a World Cup for my country. I was a bit down afterwards, but then I pulled myself together and now I want to contribute to the team again. My recovery went well, and I am keen to play in Hermanus this weekend.”
It will not be a first outing for Masuku at the tournament. She enrolled at the Titans Academy, based in Knysna, a couple of years ago and played against the Springbok Women’s Sevens in the Overberg town.
“I even had to jump in a lineout against Rights (Mkhari) and I still have that picture of the two of us. Rights inspired so many young girls from Limpopo, as she did for me,” Masuku recalled.
“I want to become as established as Rights is in the team and for that, I need to perform well this weekend. I trained well and cannot wait to play on Saturday.”
Springbok Women’s Sevens fixtures:
Saturday 25 February
12h40: Tygerberg Ladies
17h10: Central Wolves
Sunday 26 February
10h30: Middelburg Stormers
The Springbok Women's Sevens squad for the Hermanus Women's 7s:
- Simamkele Namba
- Kemisetso Baloyi
- Ayanda Malinga
- Zintle Mpupha
- Marlize de Bruin
- Felicia Jacobs
- Eloise Webb
- Sizophila Solontsi
- Liske Lategan
- Donelle Snyders
- Zandile Masuku
- Snenhlanhla Shozi