Werner Kok says the Blitzboks need to fix their mistakes and do the basics well if they are to bounce back at the Sydney Sevens.
The Blitzboks had to settle for a fourth-place finish at the Hamilton Sevens last weekend after losing to Fiji and New Zealand in the Cup quarter-finals and third-place playoffs respectively.
Despite the disappointing outcome in Hamilton, South Africa are now up to fourth in the series standings.
The team arrived in Australia on Monday for the fourth tournament of the season, and Kok said they have to use the Sydney leg of the series to make up ground on the top three.
‘It was disappointing how we played at times,’ he admitted. ‘Some basics were not adhered to and that is something you cannot do. It is about the squad, but it will start with each individual taking ownership of the mistakes and then going out there to rectify it and make sure that it does not happen again.
‘We need to forget about Hamilton and start afresh here in Sydney. We have to clear the minds, warm the hearts and make sure South Africa is proud of us at the end of the weekend. We have a week to fix things and to use the time to do that. It is still early in the series, but we need to start stepping up.’
Kok admitted that losing several players to Vodacom Super Rugby franchises had been a blow for the Blitzboks, but that it provided an opportunity for the youngsters in the squad to make their mark.
‘The quality of guys such as Rosko Specman, Ruhan Nel and Dylan Sage is undisputed and you don’t replace players like them overnight. There are less experienced guys in the squad this time around. It does not have to be a deterrent to the younger guys, though.
‘You train hard, hoping to get the chance once an experienced player is not there anymore. That is the opportunity for the next guy.’