The Blitzboks poor start to the season continued in Sydney this past weekend as they could only secure fifth spot at the end.
They are lucky to keep their forth spot on the overall log but did manage to get a win of 12-10 over the Aussies for the fifth playoff game on Sunday.
They finished first in their group on Saturday and played England in the quarter finals but were outplayed by England losing 26-5.
Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, afterwards said the inconsistency in performances in Sydney was frustrating.
“It was a frustrating weekend yes. At times we played really good sevens, but too often we failed in some basics. We would have a good half and then follow that up by a poor one. If we can’t get the basics right, we can’t expect to play in finals and semi-finals.”
The coach said the usual spark seemed missing at times.
“We were a bit quiet in the warm-up this morning before England and that is not the normal culture in the team. We need to be mentally and physically ready for knock-out matches and that is something we will have a look at as we get back home and start preparing for the Las Vegas event.”
Powell refused to blame the lack of experience among the ranks for some of the errors made, but admits that lessons learned must be implemented.
“Look, you are going to make mistakes. We had JC (Pretorius) on debut and Impi (Visser) in only his fourth tournament, so we must realise there is a transition taking place. We still need to cut out mistakes though. We conceded a yellow card again and you cannot play with six men against the likes of England, Fiji and New Zealand.”
Powell said some honesty and frank discussions will follow when the team has its debrief.
“We need to be tough on ourselves in what is going wrong. Also in team selection, I think the players in form need to start, despite the number of tournaments or experience they have. We had too many slow starts in the tournament and that resulted in having to play catch-up rugby. Against the big teams that is fatal.”
The team remained on the top four in the standings, but are now 19 points behind the log leaders, New Zealand and USA.
The top five teams on the World Series log are:
1. New Zealand 76
2. USA 76
3. Fiji 72
4. South Africa 57
5. England 55