“That was very disappointing – it is already hard enough playing against them with seven men, so the yellow card was really damaging to our chances”
BLITZBOK coach Neil Powell says discipline let his team down in their semi-final defeat to New Zealand in the Vancouver Sevens tournament, which was won by the Kiwis in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The South Africans then played Canada in the bronze medal play-off and were beaten by the super-motivated hosts, and again poor discipline played a role.
The Blitzboks started the second day in Vancouver with a strong 26-10 win over the US in the quarter-finals to book the showdown with New Zealand, but the log leaders outplayed the Blitzboks, successfully targeting them at the breakdown.
A yellow card added to the misery and the deficit on the scoreboard as New Zealand scored twice in that time.
“That was very disappointing – it is already hard enough playing against them with seven men, so the yellow card was really damaging to our chances,” Powell said.
“I thought we had some opportunities in the second half while we were down 15-5 and that we could take control of the match again, but then we made unforced errors in basic aspects of the game,” he said.
Against Canada, who had their best performance ever at BC Place Stadium, the scores were tied 14-14 at the break, but another yellow card allowed the home side to score the vital try that separated the sides.
“We will have to be hard on each other when doing reviews, as the last matches of the tournament are always those you tend to remember,” said Powell.
“We wanted to give some of the younger players more game time as well and they would have learned a lot from this.”