GAINING EXPERIENCE: Debutant Bok Impi Visser

The struggling Blitzbokke will have to do some soul-searching as they look to rediscover that made them back-to-back World Sevens Series in the last two season.

Coach Neil Powell’s manne hit rock bottom Down Under in the last two weeks, finishing a disappointing fifth in Sydney after ending fourth in New Zealand.

And with the young squad returning to their Stellenbosch base for debriefing this week, Powell says they will have to take a good long look in the mirror.

He says: “We need to be tough on ourselves in what is going wrong.

“Also in team selection, I think the players in form need to start, despite the number of tournaments or experience they have.

REFLECT: Neil Powell. Photo: RYAN WILKISKY/BACKPAGEPIX

“We had too many slow starts in the tournament and that resulted in having to play catch-up rugby. Against the big teams, that is fatal.”

Poor results against the likes of Fiji, on both weekends in Australasia, leave the South Africans fourth in the standings.

But with a 19-point gap to Series leaders the USA and New Zealand, the focus is on a top-four finish and not retaining the title.

Powell admits: “The main focus still remains Olympic qualification with a top four finish, so we have to improve all the time.”

Resetting targets and the basics are a common theme for the boss, who tried to take some positives out of the tour.

He says: “From a wider perspective, there were no serious injuries and players such as JC [Pretorius] and Impi [Visser] got good tournament time under the belt.”

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