But then, it was not normal circumstances on a chartered flight that transported the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series participants between the fifth and sixth stops of the global tour, as the Blitzboks boarded the airplane with three consecutive losses fresh in their minds.

So instead of the movie, a review of those matches was on the menu for the team and according to JC Pretorius, they used it to their benefit.

“The long flight turned out to be very productive as it gave us time to have a very good look at ourselves,” said Pretorius.

“The reviews made it clear that we did not execute well enough in Singapore and the implementation of our roles and responsibilities were not looked after.”

The disappointment felt by their supporters was also felt by the players, who pride themselves on playing for their country on the world stage, added Pretorius: “It was a reminder of what we play for and what the badge stands for. We have massive respect for the badge, but our performances did not reflect that.”

Pretorius also remembered the last time the Blitzboks felt this way.

“I can recall that in 2019, we finished eighth in Las Vegas and the next weekend, we won here in Vancouver,” he said.

“So, with reflection and time to work on this, we will be competitive again this weekend. Tactically we did not execute and that is something we can fix.”

Zain Davids congratulated after scoring a try.

Zain Davids congratulated after scoring a try.

Zain Davids echoed these sentiments: “As a professional sportsman, you need to be able to make adjustments in order to get better or to get a different result.

“For us as a team, we have the opportunity to do so this week. We have a job to do. We did some good things, so we need to continue with that. But the reality is that we did not always play to our standards and that cannot happen again,” the experienced forward said.

The change of country and continent also brought a total change of weather.

“We were sweating in the humidity of Singapore and today, on our way to training, it was snowing here in Vancouver. A total reversal of weather, like we hope to have with our performances,” added Davids.

Blitzboks’ pool schedule (SA time):

Saturday, 16 April:

20h15: vs Spain

23h26: vs Canada

Sunday, 17 April:

03h33: vs Australia