“Skully” Brown in action at the Hongkong Sevens
UCT flank Kyle Brown has been a Sevens Springbok for a few short months only, but yet he already – along with his SA Sevens squad teammates – finds himself on the cusp of something really special as the 2008/09 season reaches its business-end, www.rugby365.com reports.
The ‘Blitz Boks’ are currently leading the race to land the overall ’08/09 International Rugby Board Sevens World Series title, something no other South African Sevens side has achieved since the advent of the IRB Sevens circuit in 1999/2000.
However, before Brown and co. can even contemplate getting the champagne on ice, they have two more tournaments – in London and Edinburgh – on the horizon.
At worst, the ‘Blitz Boks’ simply have to make one losing semifinal and a losing quarterfinal to make the overall IRB Sevens title theirs, but Brown revealed that scraping in was not on this team’s agenda.
“We are well aware of what needs to be done,” Brown told www.in-site.co.za. “But our aim was to dominate the Sevens season and if we want to remain true to that [our aim] we need to go out there and win in London and Edinburgh!”
He added: “It’s been a really special ride this season, with a special bunch of guys in the squad. And, yes, we’re in a great position to win the overall title, but we need to concentrate on winning those final two tournaments… not worry about the bare minimum that we need to win the overall title.”
Whilst the Sevens Boks have won three titles on the IRB Sevens circuit this season (in Dubai, George and Adelaide), they were unable to make a big enough impression at the 2009 Sevens World Cup in Dubai – a failure, according to Brown, that could just help them in their quest to walk off with the overall IRB Sevens crown.
“It’s unfortunate,” said the UCT flank, “but losing in the quarterfinals at the World Cup taught us a big lesson… It really is a pity, as World Cups don’t come around that often, but it gave us a big wake-up call and it showed us how quickly something can be taken away [from you].
“There are no easy games on the Sevens circuit, the days of beating teams by 50-plus are over, but the Sevens World Cup helped reinforce that you cannot take anything for granted at this level.”
With the 2008/09 season set to be a defining one for long-time SA Sevens boss Paul Treu, and the more experienced members of his squad, the past few months have been something of a whirlwind experience for Brown, who last year this time was not even playing Vodacom Cup rugby or commanding a regular place in the WP Under-20 squad.
But after making his international Sevens debut in Dubai last November, his speed, anticipation and enthusiasm have since seen him nail down a starting spot under Treu’s watchful eye – something that Brown sometimes finds hard to believe.
“The coach has been a big help – he has a lot of faith and trust in us players,” said Brown. “The beauty about the Sevens circuit is that you tend to grow as a player and as a person after each tournament and finding myself starting the final in Adelaide was a real thrill.
“As far as tournaments go I think the Adelaide one has been the best experience thus far… After losing to Kenya in the pool stages we ended up having to face New Zealand and Fiji in the quarterfinals and semifinals and by the time the final came we were playing well and we went out there and played some good finals rugby.”
Remaining IRB Sevens Series fixtures: