Blitzboks experience rare dips in form

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The South African sevens team, one of the most consistent teams in the World Rugby Sevens Series, recorded their worst ever tournament finish when they finished 13th at the Canada Sevens, a tournament they had previously won three times in the past five years.

The Blitzboks have slipped to 7th place on the overall standings, with four tournaments remaining in the series.

The Blitzboks managed just 13 points from the Los Angeles and Vancouver legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series. Their 13th-place finish in Canada saw them collect a measly three points, and throw their season into disarray.

In the pool stage, they drew to France, beat Japan and lost to eventual champions Argentina. Having missed out on the cup quarter-finals, they then lost to Kenya in the 9th place quarter-final, before beating Canada and Japan again to secure 13th place.

Their two weeks in North America have seen them slip down to seventh on the rankings, in a region where they are normally amongst the contenders for tournament wins.

Zain Davids, one of the Blitzboks stalwarts is worried about the dip in form.

“These two weeks were quite difficult for us. I think we have to take a good look at ourselves. We can only play rugby if we do the basics right, like the passing, the catching, playing to the rucks and I think most of the teams they have been analysing us and they are attacking us at the breakdown.”

The Blitzboks’ freefall needs to be curtailed in a hurry. The good news is that just 14 points separate the teams in third through to ninth place on the overall standings, so there is time to get back on track. However, competition is so tight on the series these days, that according to Davids no team can be taken for granted.

“I know we got the two wins but I don’t think we can be happy with our processes leading to this tournament we had to have a mindset switch coming into this I know all the teams are tough Uruguay Spain we can’t underestimate any teams,” says Davids.