South Africa happy with underdog status

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 26 June 2013  
 South Africa happy with underdog status
Having reached the 2009 World Cup Sevens in Dubai, South Africa say they are a side that shouldn't be underestimated in Moscow this weekend

As semi-finalists at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai, South Africa captain Mandisa Williams knows that her side are not to be underestimated this weekend in Moscow.

South Africa have shown on the World Series this season that when they are on top form, they are capable of anything, as reaching the Cup final in Dubai last December clearly highlighted.

Williams is a key leader for her side and says that her side are happy with their underdog status.

“We know what our goal is and we have worked incredibly hard to be here and to do well. We are not going to underestimate any team this weekend but we know that teams will not do the same to us. We are underdogs but we know we have the capabilities to upset the bigger names because we have done it before.”

“So far we are really enjoying Moscow and we are very focused. We always thought of Russia as a very cold place so it’s a really nice surprise to be here in the sun!”

South Africa face a rematch of the 2009 World Cup semi final when they play Australia in their pool, where they are also joined by a rapidly progressing Ireland side and another improving team, China.

Williams says her side have a clear focus.

“For us it is just about our first game with Ireland. That is hugely important if we want to get out of our pool in the Cup competition.  We would love to be a core side on the World Series next season and we have set ourselves tough targets. Playing more and more together is really important for us and being a part of the Series would help us do that.”

Williams says that though her side are physically a small team, she is confident in the pace throughout the side.

“We know we don’t have the size of other teams. I am the only big girl in my team! We use our speed and footballing brains to play Sevens and that works well for us. We have some very talented players in the team and lots of players too who were in 2009 and have the experience of doing well in this competition."