That Springbok Sevens team suffered a third party defeat at the HSBC France Sevens in Toulouse on Sunday in what Blitzbock Coach Neil Powell described as “Worst tournament performance of my career”.
The South Africans lost 24-21 against Scotland in the semifinals in ninth place after losing Ireland and Samoa in their pool on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Their only wins were against Spain and Japan and they had theirs worst finish since Powell took charge in 2013.
“This is without a doubt the team’s worst performance since I took office and there is little reason to celebrate in the performance we have delivered here.” said Powell.
“We dropped the team as individuals and the team didn’t function as a unit. That’s very disappointing.”
For Powell, who will look for solutions over the next week as the team prepares for next weekend’s HSBC London Sevens, the main problem identified so far is the players’ inability to perform their core duties. This caused numerous mistakes and put the team under pressure.
“There were some good moments but the mistakes are killing us at the moment” he said.
“It’s almost as if the players have forgotten what their roles and responsibilities are and that has put pressure on the system. Every player – and management too – will have to ask themselves seriously why they are not doing their part as they did at the start of the season.
“It’s a tough series and some teams haven’t performed as expected. New Zealand couldn’t get out of their pool either and Argentina and Australia both lost their cup quarter-finals. It’s almost as if the teams are getting a little jaded. That definitely makes the World Series race very interesting.”
The Blitzboks (116) conceded their World Series lead to Argentina (118), who passed them this weekend, but Powell remains confident South Africa can win a fourth gold with him as coach.
Powell said they will announce possible reinforcements once medical checks are complete.
“We have to replace JC Pretorius as he broke his thumb and both Tiaan Pretorius and James Murphy suffered leg muscle injuries,” said Powell.
“Mfundo Ndhlovu was also unavailable yesterday but we managed to get him on the field today. We have already identified some replacements but will make the final decision tonight.”
Ryan Oosthuizen was also suspended for three games and will miss the first two pool games in London.
Blitzboks travel to London on Monday
Against Scotland, with Oosthuizen unavailable and Pretorius injured, the Blitzboks were left up front and when Tiaan Pretorius was sent off Blitzbok captain Siviwe Soyizwapi had to switch from winger to hooker.
The squad will leave for London on Monday and the substitutes will join the team in England, Powell confirmed.
Blitzboks own worst enemy in Toulouse, lead LOSE series
Source link Blitzboks own worst enemy in Toulouse, lead LOSE series