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Sun 27 Jan 2019 | 12:31

'A day of missed chances and silly errors'

'A day of missed chances and silly errors'
Sun 27 Jan 2019 | 12:31
'A day of missed chances and silly errors'
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REACTION: Day Two’s results at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton did not sit well with BlitzBoks head coach Neil Powell.

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The Springbok Sevens team improved their position to fourth World Rugby Sevens Series standings after finishing fourth at the New Zealand Sevens tournament in Hamilton on Sunday.

South Africa moved up on the log after the third of 10 tournaments in the World Rugby Sevens Series, a significant improvement as the top four teams will automatically qualify for the Rugby Sevens event at the Summer Olympics in Japan in 2020.

Fiji and USA (57 points) lead the pack, followed by New Zealand (54), South Africa (44), England (38) and Australia (35).

The fourth-place finish in the FMG Stadium Waikato, where the BlitzBoks were runners up last year, came after a day of mixed fortunes and missed opportunities.

The South Africans opened the day with a 29-10 win over Samoa in the Cup quarterfinals, but had their title ambitions thwarted by overall winners Fiji, who beat them 29-7 in the semifinal. The hosts then defeated the Springbok Sevens team by 29-7 in the bronze final.

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“We had a day of missed chances and silly errors and that cost us dearly,” Powell said.

“I don’t think Fiji and New Zealand are 22 points better than us, in fact, I feel we are pretty close to them, but the scores show how many mistakes we made.

“We conceded yellow cards in both those matches and in each, the opponents scored twice while we were a man down. We also did not look after our possession like we should. Against teams such as these, you cannot defend 80 percent of the time and only attack 20 percent and expect a result.”

The BlitzBoks came from behind against Samoa, who scored twice in the first half of that match to lead 12-7 at the break.

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“We played very well in the second half against the Samoans,” said Powell.

“They targeted the breakdown in the first half and once we could retain some possession in the second, we controlled the game and won quite comfortably in the end. Maybe the easier games on Saturday did not do us any favours.”

Against Fiji, an early try by the men in white set the tone and they were leading 19-0 at the break and 24-0 just after. Springbok Sevens captain Philip Snyman lamented on the missed chances against Fiji.

“We had some early opportunities and did not take it,” said Snyman.

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'A day of missed chances and silly errors' | Rugby365