Blitzbok playmaker Rosko Specman has called on his teammates to punish their opponents at this weekend’s Cape Town Sevens event.
The World Series champions weren’t at their best in the first tournament of the year, losing to England in the Cup quarterfinal of the Dubai event.
One area of concern was the South Africans’ discipline.
Against Argentina in their final pool match, for example, South Africa had both rookie Impi Visser and Shakes Soyizwapi sent to the cooler and let slip a 12-0 lead to lose 19-12.
Visser was sin-binned for not releasing at the breakdown and Soyizwapi for a high tackle.
It’s the battle at the breakdown and their discipline there that worries Specman.
He says: “There comes a point after two minutes, you want the ball back and that’s where some players are so keen to get the [ball] and hit them back.
“Sometimes the guys put their hands on the ball and you get fatigued [because of defending so much] and don’t hear the whistle.
“We know we have danger men with ball in hand, but we need the ball.”
It’s when they get the ball in hand when Specman wants his teammates to show their worth, regardless of the opposition.
With the Blitzboks playing Samoa, Zimbabwe and New Zealand in Pool A at Cape Town Stadium, Specman says: “We must make sure we capitalise when we have the ball.
“We must make sure we punish the opposition - games are really close nowadays.
“We must show the other guys that if you give these guys the ball they will punish you and we must just go in with that mindset this weekend.”
Of New Zealand, who won the Dubai Sevens, Specman adds: “For this weekend we must make sure we go back to our basics - New Zealand are playing an easy game plan.
“They send the ball wide and after guys get tired they capitalise in the middle.
“If we can just do all the small things right then the result will look after itself.”