There will be no respite for the Blitzboks in the Sydney tournament of the World Rugby Seven Series this weekend.
While the Blitzboks are being treated for niggles after Hamilton where they lost three of four matches, including three on the trot, they must get their mind-set right for a tough Pool B in Sydney.
The Blitzboks will be up against Hamilton losing finalists France, as well as Argentina who beat Fiji 26-10 in their Hamilton pool round and also accounted for Kenya 19-17 in the play-offs, and Samoa who can hardly be as disappointing again as they were in New Zealand where they did show flashes of their potential.
♦ New Zealand will have it equally tough.
The Kiwis, leaders on the standings after three tournaments and last weekend’s winner on their home turf, have been drawn with Fiji and Kenya and the much lesser threat Wales, who with Samoa played off for the 15th and 16 place.
Kenya beat the Blitzboks 36-14 in Hamilton, scoring six tries to two, narrowly lost to England in their pool match (19-24) and generally impressed with their non-nonsense defence and the use of their power and weight to supplement their flair on attack.
But the above was last week, in a tournament where the results and form fluctuated, and it will take all the Blitzboks have in their arsenal and especially a positive mind-set if they want to get back on the winning path.
The Australian tournament will be played on February 1-2 at Parramatta Stadium, with the venue being used for the first time.
Pools for Sydney –
A: New Zealand, Kenya, Fiji, Wales
B: France, Argentina, South Africa, Samoa
C: Australia, USA, Scotland, Japan
D: England, Canada, Ireland, Spain
Blitzboks kick-off times –
vs Argentina, Saturday 03:41
vs France, Saturday 09:30
vs Samoa, Sunday 02:51