That mission was accomplished at Hong Kong Stadium and they can now activate the next phase of their plan, to top their pool on Saturday, when they will face Great Britain and France.
That is the view of new Blitzbok coach Sandile Ngcobo, who said he was not too stressed about the slow start of the match against Uruguay as it was expected, which the South Africans won by 21-0.
“There were some nerves, the ball was quite greasy and the guys were sweating as well, so that all contributed to the slow start,” said Ngcobo.
“We will take that to heart and see where we can improve. It was the win we wanted as we are only preparing for the next game, so the focus was on Uruguay and beating them. We created enough opportunities, but did not finish all of them, so we will look at ourselves on how we can do better and come back strongly.
“We have our minds set on winning our pool, and we can go to work on that tomorrow in the two remaining pool games.”
After their clash against the newcomers to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Blitzbok playmaker Ronald Brown said their attack need to be sharper.
Brown provided the main attacking thrust, scoring 11 of the 21 points against the South Americans, but said the team did not connect the way they wanted to on attack, although he was confident that some analysis overnight will solve those issues.
“The ball was a bit wet and that had an impact I suppose, but I did feel we were not as sharp as we could be when we had the ball,” said Brown, adding that he was very happy to hear that he could play on the weekend after a COVID test earlier in the week came back inconclusive.
“Waiting on the result was a bit troubling, but I am just happy that I was cleared to play and could be on the field with the rest of the guys. I was blessed that I could go out and play and do what I love, and I am very grateful for that.”
Brown had an unfortunate moment where he lost the ball behind the opposition’s tryline, but he soon rebounded with a well-taken try, and he could smile about it afterwards: “Hopefully the coaches won't be too hard on me because of that, as the ball was really slippery.”
Despite a slow first-half, the Springbok Sevens team started the Sandile Ngcobo coaching era with a 21-0 victory over Uruguay on the opening day of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on Friday.
The tentative start was probably down to a little rustiness, but Uruguay also deserve some credit for the way they started their first game as the new core team on the World Series.
Selvyn Davids finally broke the deadlock with 30 seconds left in the first half, displaying some fancy footwork to rip open the Uruguayan defence and score his 70th try for the Blitzboks. Ronald Brown's conversion made it 7-0 at the break.
Ninety seconds into the second half, Christie Grobbelaar took a quick penalty, fed Davids who put Shilton van Wyk away on the left for the Blitzboks' second try. Brown was on target from out wide to make it 14-0.
Brown then went from hero to villain and back to hero in a matter of a minute.
First the fleet-footed playmaker lost the ball in the in-goal area as he was dotting down, but a minute later he scooped up a loose ball and didn't make the same mistake again for the third South African try, which Brown converted himself to all but seal the win.
Uruguay finished strong but were denied by some good Blitzbok defence and it ended 21-0 to South Africa.
Springbok Sevens 21 (7) - Tries: Selvyn Davids, Shilton van Wyk, Ronald Brown. Conversions: Brown (3).