Blitzboks go 'back to school'

Justin Geduld and Chris Dry say the Blitzboks players have had to 'own up' following the team's poor performance at the Hong Kong Sevens last week. The Springbok Sevens crashed out of the Cup competition after a 21-12 quarter-final loss to the USA. They followed that up with a 19-17 defeat against Argentina in the fifth-place semi-final. According to Geduld, coach Neil Powell instructed the players to do some introspection as well as make presentations to the squad. 'We had to own up. We had to look at the various aspects of our play, such as attack, defence and breakdowns. It certainly gave us another angle and perspective on how we played and executed, and what we did wrong,' Geduld said. 'We picked up that we tended to try and do things individually at times and did not trust the plan, which was fatal. Maybe we were a bit impatient at times and tried to force the issue, instead of trusting the plan. 'We had many opportunities and we didn't exploit all of them. We were out there on the field and were the ones who did not execute, and if you don't execute and use your opportunities, you will be punished,' he added. Dry echoed Geduld's sentiments, saying there were clear plans in place that were not always followed on the field. 'We needed to look at ourselves, not only how we mentally performed, but also our execution on the field. That is where the analysis comes in handy. It jigs the mind on why we did things in a certain way, and if we made mistakes, a mental note follows. That is how one learns. 'We needed to look at ourselves and that is where the reviews kicked in. Why did we make a particular decision to leave the game plan and was it productive or successful?' Dry added that the Blitzboks now have to move on from their disastrous Hong Kong campaign and focus on the upcoming tournament in Singapore. 'We were not at our best and we need to understand and admit why that happened. We need to take the mistakes on the chin. The focus is on the new tournament and how to be consistent over the two days of the weekend.'