Ricochet News

Walter Sisulu University All Blacks speedster shines at Sevens World Cup

Aug 1, 2018
Walter Sisulu University All Blacks speedster shines at Sevens World Cup

A Walter Sisulu University student left many on American shores salivating at the mouth in anticipation of more following her enthralling performances for the Springboks at this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens which kicked off from 22-24 July in San Francisco.

First-year sports management student Sinenhlahla Shozi’s debut at the tournament was nothing short of remarkable as she crossed the whitewash four times in the three games that she played in.

“It was an honour and an immensely fulfilling experience to play for my country. I gave my all and more for my nation but unfortunately it was not enough,” said Shozi.

In spite of her heroics, Shozi’s efforts weren’t enough to see the Springboks qualify from the first round as the team would eventually register only one victory against Mexico, whilst losing three to Russia, Brazil and China.

Shozi, who hails from Nyuswa in KwaZulu Natal was, however, buoyant and positive in mood considering the invaluable technical and tactical lessons she learnt from pitting her wits against well respected opposition.

“As a team we were subjected to hours of video footage where we studied our opponents to find ways to punch through their weakness, but also mitigate their strengths. However, the biggest lessons you can learn as a player are taught on the field of play, not in the media room,” she said.

She said the experience would stand her in good stead as she prepares for a tour of Wales for the senior Springbok side, as well as a Sevens tournament to be held in Dubai beginning at the end of November.

Shozi, a lighting quick fullback who has thus far amassed three caps for the sevens outfit, and three caps for the traditional side, said her first encounter with rugby was in matric after being invited to play touch rugby.

“Things quickly escalated as people saw talent in me. Soon I was playing for local clubs and participating in major tournaments in KZN, which led to my being spotted by the Sharks, for whom I played for two years before coming to the Eastern Cape,” said Shozi.

Her performances in the 2018 USSA Games in January caught the eye of WSU scouts, who, after substantial deliberations, convinced her to enrol at the institution.