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SA not 22 points worse than NZ - coach

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    29 Jan 2019     Getty Images

South Africa are drawn in a pool with hosts Australia, Argentina and Tonga for the event. New Zealand will play Scotland, Spain and Wales. Fiji, whose Hamilton win promoted them to a share of the competition lead with the United States will play Samoa, England and Japan while the USA will play Canada, Kenya and France.

South African coach Neil Powell told South African media after the tournament, "We had a day of missed chances and silly errors that cost us dearly.

"I don't think Fiji and New Zealand are 22 points better than us. [They both recorded 29-7 wins over South Africa] In fact, I feel we are pretty close to them, but the scores show how many mistakes we made.

"We conceded yellow cards in both those matches and in each the opponents scored twice while we were a man down. We also did not look after our possession like we should. Against teams like these, you cannot defend 80 percent of the time and only attack 20 percent and expect a result.

"Our squad came through the tournament unscathed and some of the other teams were not that lucky. We will have a good review of our performances and matches and take it from there.

"We are always looking for consistency and finishing in the top four is one of those boxes we want to tick. That was achieved and it was pleasing, but we will be looking for an improved effort in Sydney again."

Captain Philip Snyman said the missed opportunities had cost them dearly.

"We had some early opportunities and did not take them.

"Then we made a number of small errors and were punished. The fact is, we were not good enough on the day and we have no excuses. We need to learn from this and make sure we don't make them again," he said.