It's no secret that the Springbok Sevens side want to retain their World Sevens Series title. And that of course makes successful weekends in London and Paris essential.
While the Blitzboks started well on Day One in London – the penultimate tournament – their shocking defeat to Samoa in the last game wasn't the way they would have wanted to wrap things up before they head into the quarter-finals.
And, needless to say, the opposition they'll meet in the battle of the top eight isn't one you can successfully take on if you're low on confidence. The Blitzboks will face New Zealand in the quarter-finals on Sunday at 12.42pm SA time.
In the Pool D showdown, Samoa got off to a flying start when Alamanda Motuga finished off some great work, and it wasn't long after their first try that they added another.
The Samoans turned over possession after Springbok Sevens skipper Philip Snyman lost his footing just outside their 22, and after turning possession over and catching the Blitzboks off-guard, Samoa's Joe Perez scored after they moved the ball through the hands quickly and made good use of a couple of decoy runners to do the groundwork for the five-pointer.
Heino Bezuidenhout got the Blitzboks' first try after Justin Geduld spotted open space next to touch when he was taken down in Samoa's 22, but he sent the conversion just wide (5-14).
It was a first half filled with ferocious running and powerful carrying by Samoa, and it paid off again when Motuga paced down the field for his second to give them a 21-5 lead at the break.
The Blitzboks worked incredibly hard at the breakdown after the half-time chat and secured a number of turnovers, and as good as Samoa were in that game, it was Seabelo Senatla's individual brilliance that shined the brighest on the London stage.
After taking a quick tap just outside own 22, he single-handedly carved up Samoa's defence. After taking the quick tap, he calmly kept his line straight before turning on the gas and stepping to the right, and beat two more defenders thereafter on his way to the whitewash.
But Senatla's fine moment wasn't enough to prevent Samoa from getting a massive win 21-12 win and see the Blitzboks suffer their first defeat on Day One.
Earlier in the day, the Springbok Sevens team beat Canada and brushed Russia aside to get off to a good start.
Against Canada, the Blitzboks scored three tries to make it two-out-of-two on Day One by beating Canada 17-7.
The Blitzboks led 7-0 at the break, and Ryan Oosthuizen, Philip Snyman and Werner Kok all crossed the try line, while Branco du Preez added one conversion.
Harry Jones was the sole try-scorer for Canada, while Nathan Hirayama contributed two points with the boot.
In their 31-0 demolition of Russia, the Blitzboks dominated throughout the match and Dylan Sage, Oosthuizen, Siviwe Soyizwapi and Cecil Afrika all scored in the first half, while Zain Davids joined the try-scoring club after the break. Branco du Preez added three conversions.
London Sevens Cup Quarter-Finals on Sunday (SA times):
12.42pm: Blitzboks v