CAPE TOWN – Springboks Sevens captain Siviwe Soyizwapi said that his team failed to implement their game plan after they crashed out of the Tokyo Olympics with a shock 19-14 defeat to Argentina in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
The Blitzboks received what they would’ve thought was a favourable draw for the quarter-finals against the Argentinians, considering that fellow Pool C qualifiers the United States had to face Great Britain.
The Americans nearly pulled off an upset, but lost 26-21. In the other quarter-finals, New Zealand beat Canada 21-10, while Fiji cruised to a 19-0 win over Australia.
Wednesday’s semi-finals will see Great Britain take on New Zealand, while Argentina will hope for another giant-killing act against the Fijians.
But they produced the performance of the tournament against the South Africans after Gaston Revol received a red card for a late and dangerous tackle on Selvyn Davids, which forced the Blitzbok star off the field with a bloodied nose in the third minute.
Soyizwapi’s team were leading 7-0 courtesy of an early Davids try, but they seemed to rush things once their opponents were reduced to six men, while the South Americans found their spark.
Marcos Moneta scored two outstanding individualistic tries, and Santiago Alvarez added a third to set up a 19-7 lead with less than two minutes to go.
The Blitzboks rallied to be awarded a penalty try, but couldn’t win back the final kickoff against a five-man Argentina side after a yellow card for a deliberate knock-down.
“I think we never got into the game. We never got an opportunity to play with the ball, and I think our plan was not implemented at all,” Soyizwapi said afterwards.
“Argentina came and they imposed their will, and played the way they wanted to play. We had a couple of mistakes from our side as well, and I think that cost us.
“That’s why the boys have their heads down at the moment. We did let ourselves down. We didn’t play the way we wanted to play, and we didn’t keep our standards.
“Our strength is the way we play as a team, and how we win games is when we put the team game plan together, and that didn’t happen out there. If you go out there and your arrow faces in a different direction, that’s bound to happen.”
The Blitzboks are now playing for fifth spot, and will take on Australia on Wednesday (3.30am SA time) in the semi-finals of the secondary competition.