VODAFONE national 7s skipper Osea Kolinisau said the team did not play its natural game resulting in their semi-final loss in Wellington last weekend.
He said the boys finally got their rhythm and later bounced back to beat England for the third spot.
Kolinisau said defence was also another area that let his team down against the Bliztbokas.
"We just gave the game away to South Africa because we didn't play our natural game in which South Africa capitalised on," he said.
"We need to work hard on our defence and most importantly to tune ourselves well before the game.
"We need to be in the right mind-set before and during the game, the quarter-final against Argentina was really good but against South Africa we failed to spark and never followed the gameplan required."
"South Africa played well to the condition unlike us."
Kolinisau commended his troops for their effort despite falling short of their target.
"We have been improving on every performance, we fell short in Las Vegas but we bounced back to win the Bowl. In Wellington the boys reacted to the loss and played well against England.
"I think the game we need to play in the semi-final was against England."
Team manager Paula Biu said unfortunately the boys failed to win the tournament but the side had improved compared to Las Vegas.
"Unfortunately we didn't achieve what we wanted to achieve for the two tournaments to win both the tournaments but there was a turnaround from the bowl win in Las Vegas," said Biu.
"Again it was a turnaround from the game against England after we had lost to South Africa and we still maintain our third rank in IRB series points table."