A lack of defensive cohesion and an under-powered team effort led to the Springbok Sevens team dropping out of Cup contention at the HSBC LA Sevens on Saturday, something that was very disappointing to coach Neil Powell.
The Blitzboks lost matches to USA and New Zealand in their pool B fixtures on Day One of the last tournament in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series (match reports here) and Powell said afterwards the team effort was not good enough.
"We conceded way more tries than usual and that was very disappointing,” said Powell. “For me, the defensive effort from the players was too individualistic and we did not trust the system. When we play as a unit, it brings us success and that did not happen out there.
“It was not always due to a lack of trying, some guys really did their best out there, but rather players wanting to do things on their own. That is not what we stand for as a team, hence the disappointment," said Powell.
The coach said they were not expecting miracles on day two, when they face Wales in the 9th place play-off at 18h51 SA time, with many results needing to go South Africa’s way if they were to retain the HSBC World Series title.
"We will have to assess where we stand and what we want out of the day,” said Powell. “We have Dewald Human and Zain Davids out already, so will need to look toward the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in two weeks’ time and start to manage some of our key players accordingly.
“We will give it our best shot against Wales and see where we are in relation to the World Series table and then plan from there."
The Cup quarters are (all SA time):
19h13 Australia v Kenya
19h35 Fiji v USA
19h57 Samoa v Argentina
20h19 New Zealand v Ireland