“We have some niggles, so we will apply some ice and strapping to make sure the guys recover sufficiently and get rid of the inflammation and swelling”
AS much as the Blitzboks are hungry to get their poor form right on the training field, they have to concentrate on physical recovery ahead of this weekend’s Sydney leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series.
A number of players are battered and bruised after a disappointing New Zealand leg that saw them sink to three consecutive defeats in Hamilton.
The South Africans now face Argentina, Samoa and France in Pool B at the Parramatta Stadium in Sydney on Friday and Saturday.
Springbok Sevens physiotherapist Hugh Everson said the recovery of the players has to be top of the agenda at this stage.
“We have some niggles, so we will apply some ice and strapping to make sure the guys recover sufficiently and get rid of the inflammation and swelling,” said Everson.
“We want the guys to be able to train at the expected levels when they return to the training field. So, massages, recovery pumps and pool sessions are as important as tries and tackles will be at the end of it.”
It will not only be the bodies that will be sore – a look at the statistics from Hamilton will also hurt.
The Blitzboks led the stats for possession surrendered, and that reflected in their results on the weekend.
All is not doom and gloom, though, with coach Neil Powell’s men still in second position on the overall series log with another seven rounds to go.
The team’s commitment can also not be questioned as the Hamilton stats showed that only log leaders New Zealand made more tackles (218) than the Blitzboks (214).
The difference in tackle completion rate – NZ 70 percent and South Africa 66 – had a massive impact, though.
The Blitzboks are also second behind New Zealand (74) in tries scored, with 51 five-pointers thus far this season.
Sydney Sevens pools
Pool A: New Zealand, Kenya, Fiji, Wales
Pool B: France, Argentina, South Africa, Samoa
Pool C: Australia, USA, Scotland, Japan
Pool D: England, Canada, Ireland, Spain