Cape Town - Springbok Sevens assistant coach Renfred Dazel says the coaching staff are pleased with how the team bounced back from an uncharacteristic weekend in Singapore.
The Blitzboks defeated Spain, Canada and Australia to top Pool C on Saturday at BC Place in Vancouver. They will face Samoa in the Cup quarter-finals on Sunday evening (20h02 SA time).
Going into this tournament, the South Africans were eager to make up for their struggles in Singapore, where they finished sixth after losing three consecutive matches to not only end their 36-match unbeaten run, but also snap their six-tournament winning streak and miss out on a 12th consecutive semi-final berth.
The Blitzboks started fairly slowly against Spain - who they overcame 31-12 - and while they still weren’t at their best against hosts Canada, they looked sharper against Australia in their final pool game.
Speaking after their Day-One encounters, Springbok Sevens assistant coach Renfred Dazel said the performance they produced against Australia was much more to the liking of the coaching staff.
“For us as coaches, we are pleased with the effort from the players, and we hope we can take this form into the Samoa game,” said Dazel.
“We are getting closer to the standard we want to play and we as coaches believe that if we can continue with that, success could not be far off. The players stuck to the plan much better and did what we asked of them as coaches.
“If you look at the Australian match and how we handled them, it shows that the execution was good. We closed their space and executed our tackles. There is always room for improvement, and we can still get better in some areas.”
The match against Samoa will be very physical, Dazel predicted: “We have not played Samoa in a while and only watched them on tape. One thing is guaranteed and that is the physicality they will bring. They are going to come straight at us and try and dominate the contact areas.”
South Africa 31 (19), Spain 12 (7)
South Africa - Tries: Darren Adonis, Siviwe Soyizwapi (2), Dewald Human, Impi Visser. Conversions: Human (3).
Spain - Tries: Eduardo Lopez, Tiago Romero. Conversion: Juan Martinez.
South Africa 19 (12), Canada 14 (0)
South Africa - Tries: JC Pretorius, Ronald Brown, Selvyn Davids. Conversions: Brown, Shaun Williams.
Canada - Tries: David Richard, Cooper Coats. Conversions: Coats (2).
South Africa 22 (10), Australia 19 (14)
South Africa - Tries: Ronald Brown (2), Zain Davids, JC Pretorius. Conversion: Shaun Williams.
Australia - Tries: Ben Marr, Matthew Gonzalez, Nick Malouf. Conversions: Dietrich Roache (2).