Neil Powell says the Blitzboks’ performance against New Zealand at the Cape Town Sevens wasn’t good enough.
The Blitzboks, who had beaten Fiji 31-26 in a thrilling quarter-final clash earlier in the day, lost 19-12 in their semi-final. They went on to beat Canada 19-17 in the third-place playoff, with New Zealand hammering Argentina 38-14 in the final.
New Zealand are now top of the World Rugby Sevens Series standings (41 points) followed by South Africa (39) and Fiji (28).
‘I’m proud of the boys. They put in a great effort out there, unfortunately we didn’t look after our ball,’ said Powell when asked about their semi-final.
‘I’m not happy … we didn’t respect our ball enough and gave away our ball possession way too easily. If you play against a quality side like New Zealand they will definitely punish you for it.
‘They [the players] know we let ourselves down. I don’t think we even put three phases together … it wasn’t good enough.’
The coach admitted that the pressure of playing in front of a capacity crowd at Cape Town Stadium may have affected the players.
‘With the vibe that is out here you can easily get caught up in the situation and the energy that is out there in stands, maybe it got to the players.
‘But we try to look at it as a positive and get some energy from it.’
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