Seabelo Senatla Sevens Super Show

The writer is a Fiji Sun  columnist. With Seabelo Senatla’s exit from the 7s game and pursuit of a lucrative 15s Union contract with the Super Rugby franchises, there has
26 Mar 2017 14:50
Seabelo Senatla Sevens Super Show
Seabelo Senatla

The writer is a Fiji Sun  columnist.

With Seabelo Senatla’s exit from the 7s game and pursuit of a lucrative 15s Union contract with the Super Rugby franchises, there has been a sigh of relief for many of the teams competing at the Hong Kong 7s.

What was South Africa’s Blitzboks loss, would surely be a chance for the other teams to capitalise on during the famed meeting in Hong Kong of the best teams on the 7s circuit.

Born in February 1993 in Welkom, South Africa, Senatla was just your average kid playing on the streets and enjoying his childhood.

His dream was to be a track athlete and he loved to run and run fast.

With running, he found inner freedom and just loved it whether it be to the shops or competing on the track.

Rugby was farthest from his mind as a child, but as his speed and nimble foot work started drawing attention, that was when he was introduced to the game of rugby.

His No. 1 selling point was his remarkable pace and the last time he ran 100 metres as a 17-year-old, he clocked 10.5 seconds.

The transaction to rugby was not an easy one as Senatla had to learn balance, positional discipline and defensive tackling skills.

The good news, was when he was on the attack, he had natural flair and a keen sense of direction for the touch line.

Senatla’s 7s circuit debut was in Wellington in 2013 and to date, has played only a little over three seasons  of 7s rugby, but what a magical three seasons they have been.

To date, he is the highest point scorer in South African history with 945 points and 189 tries made.

He is a Commonwealth gold medallist and last year he was named the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year after his sensational 66 tries in a season.

What is most impressive is the fact that this has been done within such a short space of time and with Senatla having just turned 24-years-old, barring injury has a great career ahead of him.

In terms of speed, he has been dubbed the fastest runner on the 7s circuit, but Senatla doubts that. When asked, is there faster players than him, he is the first to admit that there are so many fast and talented players in the game.

When pressed on the issue he says “Me versus Carlin Isles ( The American Speedster). I think he’d win it, he is super quick, but you put the race on and I’m there”

With his attention now fully focused on Super Rugby and leaving the 7s game, there are questions on whether he can make the cut in the 15s game. Standing at approximately 1.80 metres tall and weighing around 70 plus kilos, he is certainly built for speed, but having the endurance for the new game is another question.

Senatla has been working very hard on his new code of playing, concentrating to become a more balanced player focusing on long-range passes, moving through smaller spaces and improving his kicking game.

Given the opportunity to showcase the skills that he has been working on, Senatla believes his ability and speed will be able to overcome any shortcomings in experience.

Off the field, a quest for humility and to be a good person has been instilled in Senatla by family, friends, coaches and his mentor, Springboks legend Bryan Habana

Finally Senatla wants to be known for his good attributes off the field as a gentleman and a caring, companionate individual.

Secondly, on the field he wants to be known as a fierce and hardworking  individual who gives 100 per cent effort.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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