Cape Town - Blitzboks coach Neil Powell says his players let themselves down in their 19-12 semi-final loss to New Zealand at the Cape Town Sevens on Sunday.
The Blitzboks, favourites to win the tournament all weekend, were nowhere near clinical enough as they squandered opportunities against a Kiwi side that was determined to reverse last year's result where they were beaten in the semi-finals by the men in green.
Powell could not fault the commitment of his players, but he admitted that their performance was nowhere near good enough.
"I'm proud of the boys. They put in a great effort out there, unfortunately we didn't look after our ball," he said.
"I'm not happy ... we didn't respect our ball enough and gave away our ball possession way too easily. If you play against a quality side like New Zealand they will definitely punish you for it.
"They (the players) know we let ourselves down. I don't think we even put three phases together ... it wasn't good enough."
The Blitzboks once again enjoyed a packed out stadium on both Saturday and Sunday, but as was the case last year they couldn't get the job done in front of their fans.
When pressed on whether or not the pressure playing at home had an impact on the Blitzboks' performance, Powell was diplomatic.
"Yes and no," he said.
"With the vibe that is out here you can easily get caught up in the situation and the energy that is out there in stands, maybe it got to the players.
"But we try to look at it as a positive and get some energy from it."
The Blitzboks finished the tournament in third place after beating Canada 19-17 in a tense bronze medal match.