Hindsight is a perfect science
REACTION: South Africa Sevens coach Neil Powell admitted that he may have missed an opportunity in the Cape Town Sevens Final with the absence of injured Seabelo Senatla.
Senatla's involvement with the Blitzboks will come to an end after the Sydney Sevens leg on February 5 when he heads to the Stormers to take part in the 2017 Super Rugby campaign.
"Seabelo [Senatla] took a knock to his quad in the quarterfinal and we decided to play him in the semifinal but you could see he wasn't at 100 percent.
"He came to me before the final and said he felt that he was going to let the team down if he started and felt that he would be the weak link in defence because he couldn't step off his leg. That's why we started Werner [Kok] on the wing and Ruhan [Nel] in the centre.
"Using [Rosco] Speckman more went through our heads and it's important that we give him as much experience as possible because Seabelo will be leaving us. We may have missed an opportunity to -use him [Speckman] more but hindsight is always a perfect science," Powell said following his side's 17-19 defeat to England in the Gold Medal match.
Despite the result, Powell was satisfied with the squad's progress when compared to the previous season.
"I'm happy with where we are, it is better than last year where we claimed the Plate section in Dubai and then won here [in Cape Town]. Obviously, we would have loved to end the year with a home win and give the people of South Africa a Christmas present but unfortunately, it's not always a fairytale.
"The people that came here [to Cape Town Stadium] to support us and the way they supported us, adds to the disappointment. We would have loved to have given them a win but hopefully next time we can get back to winning ways [at home].
"There are plenty of positives, the effort they [the team] put in and the way they stood up to the physicality. It's a game that can go either way, one try usually decides a knock-out match. I'm still proud of the boys, there are still areas we can improve on and continue to progress in through the tournament," he added.
Powell also confirmed that speedster Seabelo Senatla will remain with the Blitzboks for another two legs - Wellington on January 28-29 and Sydney on February 4-5 - before leaving the shorter format to join the Stormers for the 2017 Super Rugby season.
By Tauriq Ebrahim