Crocked Blitzbokke back home
Cape Town - Four Springbok Sevens players will undergo medical assessments on Wednesday afternoon to determine the extent of injuries they suffered at the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament in Las Vegas the past weekend.
The squad arrives on Wednesday morning from the United States and the injured players will head straight for the team headquarters in Stellenbosch where they will undergo medical examinations. SA Sevens coach, Paul Treu, and some of his management staff will stay behind in the USA for a few days where they will visit other sporting codes.
South Africa won the Plate in New Zealand and finished fourth in the United States and the team managed to move one place to third on the World Series log.
Chris Dry (knee), Boom Prinsloo (head), Mark Richards (pectoral muscle) and Cornal Hendricks (shoulder) all suffered injuries of various degrees in Las Vegas. Furthermore, Paul Delport underwent a successful minor operation to repair his damaged cheekbone and team management will monitor his recovery efforts on a weekly basis.
Speaking from Las Vegas, Treu said basic errors led to the team’s undoing in both the fourth and fifth leg of the World Series.
“It has been a tough two weeks on the road and our current third place on the log is probably a true reflection of our efforts in Wellington and Las Vegas,” said Treu.
“At the moment, we are losing to the best (NZ) and second best team (Fiji) in the world and it's frustrating to know you come so close every time, yet have very little to show for it.
“Our defence and tackling let us down and basic errors cost us dearly during both tournaments. Once again, we had opportunities in both Wellington and Las Vegas, but we conceded costly turnovers that led to 95m tries – which is totally unacceptable,” added Treu.
Cecil Afrika, the 2011 IRB and South African Sevens Player of the Year, capped a very good individual performance in the United States by scoring seven tries, which landed him the highest try scorer accolade.
The teams now have a six break before the Hong Kong Sevens from 23 to 25 March and the Japanese event on 31 March and 1 April.
New Zealand, runners up in Las Vegas, increased their lead at the top of the World Series standings to 92 points, five ahead of second placed Fiji.
The remaining World Series tournaments are:
Hong Kong: 23-25 March
Japan: 31 March-1 April
Scotland: 5-6 May
England: 12-13 May
The current World Series standings:
1. New Zealand (92 points)
2. Fiji (87)
3. South Africa (76)
4. England (74)
5. Samoa (69)