There are familiar comforts in Dubai for the Springbok Sevens team, with the knowledge that a good track record and some passionate support await them at The Sevens Stadium on Saturday and Sunday.
The Springbok Sevens worked extremely hard to prepare for the Rugby Africa Olympic Games 2024 qualifiers – as their performances leading up to the final showed – which is why the 17-12 defeat against Kenya in the final was extremely disappointing and gut wrenching for the squad.
The Springbok Sevens suffered a heart-breaking 17-12 defeat to Kenya in the final of the Rugby Africa Olympic Games 2024 qualifying tournament in Harare on Sunday and in the process, missed a second opportunity to qualify for next year's global showpiece in Paris.
There were some familiar faces at the tournament hotel and the flight to Harare was almost like travelling to Johannesburg, but the Springbok Sevens team's journey to Zimbabwe – for the Rugby Africa Olympic Games qualifiers on Saturday and Sunday – is one they have not yet travelled before and where they will expect the unexpected.
There will be good news for the Springbok Sevens squad when they assemble at their base in Stellenbosch on Wednesday for their final camp in the build-up to the Olympic Games qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe next month, but also some bad news for team and country.