WORLD SEVENS SERIES
Blitzbok Seabelo Senatla shelves thoughts of 200 touchdowns
Blitzboks try-machine Seabelo Senatla is putting thoughts of individual milestones out of his mind as 200 World Sevens Series tries loom within touching distance for the wing.
Senatla, who will only be involved in the first four tournaments of the 10-event circuit before moving back to fifteens, moved to fifth on the all-time sevens try-scoring list last weekend.
He scored seven tries at the season-opening tournament in Dubai, and advanced to 196 career tries, as the Blitzboks won the title to start the defence of their status as world champions in the best way possible.
Senatla, 24, has scored his tries at a staggering rate of more than one per match, with his total having being amassed in a mere 173 games. Barring injury, he should break the 200-try mark at some stage during this weekend’s Cape Town sevens.
"I don’t really think about those kinds of records," Senatla said. "It’s like when I was getting close to my 100th try, as soon as I stepped on the field, all you’re thinking about is doing what you’re supposed to do.
"It’s all about what’s best for the team and if it [the milestone] comes, great, if it doesn’t, that is also okay as long as the team has performed. As long as I walk off the field knowing I gave 100% for the team."
Senatla will take a full tilt at fifteens in 2018 in an effort to break through at international level and become a Test Springbok. He will play tournaments three and four on the sevens circuit in Sydney and Hamilton before returning to the Stormers for Super Rugby.
"This is still the second phase in my career, which is about playing more fifteens and supplementing it with sevens," Senatla said.
"I feel sevens has a lot to do with my development as a player. Obviously I have dreams and ambitions of being a fifteens Bok, and that’s the ultimate goal. At later stages I will continue to play fifteens, and perhaps play that only. But it’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m just enjoying every moment of it.
"It’s all about trying to become a more holistic player, and that’s what I’m gunning towards. I’m just glad to be back with my sevens family, though."
Meanwhile, Cape Town executive mayor Patricia de Lille says that although the city welcomes visitors to the sevens, she has urged people to be mindful of the drought.
"I know that people don’t drink a lot of water at the Sevens… they drink beer," De Lille said.