It was a costly weekend for the Springbok Sevens as they lost stand-in skipper Kyle Brown for the season with a knee injury, and dropped to second place behind Fiji in the 2017/18 World Rugby Sevens Series standings after finishing fourth in Singapore.
The Blitzboks started the bronze final with only 10 fit players and were beaten 26-24 by England on Sunday.
Earlier, the South Africans were edged 12-10 by Fiji in the semi-finals of the tournament, the eighth of 10 in the series.
Fiji, who started the tournament three points behind the Blitzboks and beat Australia 28-22 in the final, have now overhauled South Africa at the top of the log and lead by four points with two tournaments remaining, in London and Paris.
To make matters worse for Neil Powell’s team, Brown injured knee ligaments and will require surgery to repair the damage.
He will not be available to play in the final two tournaments of the series, as well as the Rugby Sevens World Cup in July in San Francisco.
On the opening day of the Singapore Sevens, the Blitzboks lost the services of Rosko Specman, while Selvyn Davids missed the encounter against England because of injury.
The Blitzboks opened the day with a 24-12 win over Kenya in the Cup quarter-finals, with Siviwe Soyizwapi scoring three tries.
However, against Fiji they failed to hang on to a 10-0 lead, with a sole conversion again the difference between the two sides, which was the same margin of defeat against England.
Powell said that although the outcome was not what they wanted, he was pleased with a number of aspects.
“We asked the players for three things – to bring energy, look after the system and put in the effort, and they did that,” said Powell.
“ We asked the players for three things – to bring energy, look after the system and put in the effort, and they did that,” Blitzboks coach @Neil5Powell after South Africa finished 4 th @SgRugby7s @CastleLagerSA @FNBSA @ASICS_ZA . pic.twitter.com/IwXrtVUsbF
“We are very harsh when we evaluate ourselves, and I am happy that they delivered on those things we wanted.
“We made some unmistakable mistakes, though, and we are still striving for that perfect game. The season is not over yet, and I am looking forward to those two remaining tournaments.”
The coach was also pleased by the performances of the younger players: “We have some senior players available back home, but after the performance of these younger players, there will be a good competition for places.
“The guys gave everything, and it is sad that they did not get anything out of the tournament.”
World Sevens Series Standings
Fiji (145), South Africa (141), New Zealand (120), Australia (108), Kenya and USA (93)