Glasgow - The Springbok Sevens team lost their overall HSBC Sevens
World Series lead to Fiji in Glasgow on Sunday after only managing in winning
the Plate Final of the Scotland Sevens at Scotstoun Stadium.
South Africa, who had a four point lead on Fiji coming into
the penultimate tournament of the series, suffered a 15-0 defeat against the
Pacific Islanders team in the Cup quarterfinals in their first match today.
The defeat pushed them into the Plate section, where wins
over Australia (21-12) and Scotland (12-10) resulted in them winning that
competition and 13 tournament points.
Fiji went on to win the final and overhauled South Africa
and now lead them by five with the last tournament of the 2014/15 series being
played at Twickenham in London next weekend.
New Zealand, who started the tournament nine points adrift
of the Springbok Sevens also clawed back that lead and will be going to England
three points behind the Blitzboks.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell expressed disappointed on
the Fiji result, but was happy in the way the team responded by beating
Australia and Scotland to claim the maximum points available and win the Plate.
"It was a massive game for us against Fiji and the
result did not go our way and that was disappointing. There was a lot in that
match and we could not pull it through. We needed to beat them to stay top of
the log and unfortunately we could not do that. The guys came back well though
and we did well in the remaining two matches," Powell said.
"We managed to beat Australia and also played well
against Scotland, especially in that second half of the final, where we had to
defend for a long time."
The coach admitted on the team not having the best of
weekends in Scotland.
"It felt like we could not get out of the blocks on day
one. It did not help that we suffered early injuries like losing Philip
(Snyman) the day before the tournament and then Cecil (Afrika) yesterday.
Against Fiji we could not keep the ball and although we defended well, paid the
Powell warns all is not lost.
“We are still in it and nothing has changed in our aim to
win the overall series. We will have a look where we can improve and work on
before London. Our goal here was to stretch the lead against Fiji and we could
not do that. Going to London we will have it all to do. We need to get the
confidence of the players up so that they can go out and play.”
Powell will have an injury assessment of the squad on Monday
and will then make a call on any injury replacements if needed.
The coach congratulated the squad who have qualified for the
Olympic Games in Rio with a guaranteed top four finish.
“It is great to
qualify, that was our first and foremost goal for the year and it is a
tremendous achievement for us.”
Top 5 in latest standings:
Fiji - 147
South Africa - 142
New Zealand - 139
England - 117
Australia - 101