A performance like this is disrespectful to our country says Blitzboks coach Sandile Ngcobo

South Africa Sevens coach Sandile Ngcobo was left disappointed after his side’s poor showing at the LA Sevens over the weekend. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

South Africa Sevens coach Sandile Ngcobo was left disappointed after his side’s poor showing at the LA Sevens over the weekend. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Feb 27, 2023


Cape Town - Unacceptable and completely devoid of effort.

That is how a disappointed and frank Sandile Ngcobo, Springbok Sevens coach, described his team's efforts at the Los Angeles Sevens tournament this past weekend.

The Blitzboks' wheels came off properly in the US, losing their last two games against Fiji and Samoa in embarrassing fashion.

The Fijians cruised to a 28-7 victory in the quarter-finals, while the Samoan team thrashed South Africa 45-5 in a poor display in the play-off match for fifth place.

According to Ngcobo there was no fight or effort in the squad (on day two), especially against Samoa.

"A performance like this is disrespectful to our badge and our country and we will have to have an extremely hard look at ourselves,” Ngcobo said.

"It was almost heartbreaking for me to watch from the sidelines as there was no effort at all from the players, and that hurts as the badge that we play for does not deserve that, neither do our supporters or our country.

"It seemed that complacency crept in and that the guys were just going through the motions expecting things to happen, instead of going there and making it happen.”

The Blitzboks also did not start the LA tournament well after losing in the pool games against Ireland and lowly Uruguay. The only match they won this past weekend was their first game against Canada.

The defeat against the Uruguayans was especially disappointing as the South African possess so much strike power but they could not claim a victory.

Against Fiji and Samoa, the Blitzboks just kept handing the flying Pacific Islanders possession and that is the last thing you want to do on the Sevens field.

Fiji ran the South African defence to pieces, especially off scrums. And countless missed tackles hampered the Blitzboks. Against Samoa, the same same thing happened, with turnover possession and dreadful defending leading to Ngcobo's men being put to the sword.

The Vancouver Sevens starts this weekend and it's traditionally a good hunting ground for the South Africans.

But with so many errors to fix and some injuries on top of that, it's going to be tough to turn these performances around.

ALSO READ: Blitzboks scrape through to LA Sevens Cup quarters

“I will have to ask myself why and how we delivered such a poor performance and how can we fix that. The game for me is 20% physical and 80% mental and we just did not pitch mentally.

"The system deserves better, and we will have to regroup with Vancouver only five days away.”

ALSO READ: Blitzboks grind out opening victory at LA Sevens

New Zealand were crowned LA Sevens champions after beating Argentina for the gold medal.

Despite the performance, the Blitzboks are third on the overall log of the Series. The top four teams at the end of the season will automatically qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.


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