Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman says the team has had a deep introspection following their fourth-place finish at the Hamilton Sevens last weekend.
The Blitzboks started the Australasian leg of the Sevens Series on fire, ending day one of the Hamilton Sevens unbeaten to top their pool before a solid quarter-final victory against Samoa followed.
However, the team had no answers when they faced traditional foes Fiji in the semi-finals, losing 29-7 before a further 29-7 loss in the third-place playoff against New Zealand.
Ahead of the Sydney Sevens this weekend, Snyman pulled no punches when describing the Blitzboks’ performances and said the defending champions want to get back to their best in Australia.
‘Each and every player in the team had a look at themselves and realised that it was not our best effort last weekend, especially on defence,’ Snyman said. ‘Personally, I thought it was one of our worst performances in a while.’
Statistics back up what Snyman said about the defensive problems in Hamilton, with South Africa in the bottom third for completed tackles, with a mere 62% successful hits.
However, the skipper remained confident his side can bounce back after being put through some tough training sessions this week.
‘We are a young team and lessons were learned. We had a look at the videos of our matches and it was not pretty at times. We had a solid defence session earlier on Wednesday and it felt good, so clearly the guys adapted from what we missed out on last weekend.’
The Blitzboks have been drawn in a tough group with Tonga, Argentina and Australia in Pool D.
‘Yes, it is a very tough pool, so we need to be sharp from the first minute to the last,’ said Snyman. ‘The Tongans are very physical and the Argentinians never stop playing. Australia are not only hosting the tournament, but they are also defending champions. We need to play at our best.
‘We did some good things in Hamilton and we need to keep up that standard. This will be a nice challenge for us this weekend, but I know the team has the character to respond in a positive and competitive way.’
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