SA U18 Sevens coach Marius Schoeman says he is disappointed with his team’s fourth-place finish at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
South Africa lost 28-5 to Japan in the bronze medal match on Monday. That playoff result was preceded by defeats to Argentina (34-5), France (17-12) and Japan (14-12) in the round-robin phase of the tournament.
South Africa, however, managed to beat the USA (19-12) and Samoa (31-7) to qualify for the bronze medal match, which they eventually lost against the Japanese youngsters.
Schoeman lamented the team’s substandard display at the Youth Games and insists there are no excuses for the poor set of results.
‘We are bitterly disappointed as a group because we know we performed far beneath our standards,’ Schoeman said.
‘It was different to other tournaments the players have participated in. They stayed in the athletes’ village, which is something they will have to get used to as they progress in their careers.
‘We are South Africans, we are passionate about our systems and we set very high standards for ourselves, but we will not make excuses. We are devastated as a group.’
Schoeman added that his charges will take valuable lessons from this setback.
‘This is a fantastic platform to develop young players because they went up against the best teams in the world, and this experience will set them in good stead going forward. Valuable lessons were learned on this trip.’
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