A model of consistency, the Blitzboks stretched their lead at the top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings in Las Vegas over the weekend where they finished fourth in the tournament.
The team reached their fifth consecutive semi-final in the global series which saw them extend their lead to 10 points on the overall log over nearest rivals New Zealand.
The Blitzboks suffered a 12-10 defeat to Argentina in the semi-final before missing out on the bronze medal going down 26-22 to Fiji.
An already depleted South African side was further afflicted by injury losing stalwarts Werner Kok (concussion) and Branco du Preez (ankle) in the first match.
South African Sevens coach Neil Powell managed to find a silver lining through the glum as he managed to blood a new player while the fresher faces gaining experience.
“We are looking for consistency and given the number of new faces and some injuries, we did well in that regard,” Powell said.
“We had a poor opening match against Wales on Friday and did not play our best rugby against Argentina on Sunday but did well in the other matches.
“We don’t always test measure ourselves on the results, but also the way we play.”
The team will have to regroup for the next stop on the World Series circuit in Vancouver, Canada this weekend where they face Russia, Scotland and New Zealand.
“Obviously, we will have to improve come Vancouver, but our depth was tested very nicely today,” Powell said.
“We want the new guys to play against the likes of Fiji, England and New Zealand to see if they can make the step-up.” Marco Labuschagne, who made his Blitzboks debut at the 2017 London Sevens, will replace Kok joining the rest of the squad in Canada.
Springbok Sevens captain Philip Snyman said the Vancouver would afford the youngsters in the squad another opportunity to gain experience.
“We started to play better the more we played together. The learning curve is a steep one at this level and the younger guys will be better prepared come next week after this weekend,” Snyman said.
“We will work hard this coming week and I am really looking forward to the tournament in Canada.”
The top-5 teams in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings:
- South Africa 92
- New Zealand 82
- Fiji 79
- Australia 72
- Argentina 67