They managed one win in Dubai, none in Cape Town and the double in Perth was a welcome first.

The fact that they toppled Great Britain in pool play in Perth was a boost to their confidence as the UK side finished third overall, and there was little need for encouragement when the squad re-assembled in Stellenbosch for their next challenge, the HSBC SVNS Vancouver, to be played next weekend.

The tournament will also be a first for the team in terms of the playing surface at BC Place and the fact that the stadium is roofed, but for Blazeboks assistant coach Cecil Afrika those are all part of the learning curve the team is experiencing as newbies on the tour.

Afrika himself played at the venue four times in Blitzbok colours and is well suited to explain the change to an artificial pitch to the players.

“Yes, that is a new challenge, as very few of our players have played in Vancouver before and the pitch and stadium will be something new to them,” said Afrika.

“That said, there is nothing we can do about it. We can only control one thing and that is to arrive there as best prepared as possible.

Shona-Leah Weston in training this week.

Shona-Leah Weston in training this week.

“There are clear differences when you play on those pitches, as the ball bounces differently. Our sweeper will have to work a little harder to get into position as the bounce of the ball off the surface will be faster when you kick, for example. So, you need to be in position quicker.”

It will also help them when they attack, Afrika said: “We can work that into our game as well. When we attack or kick, the pitch can be used to vary those attacks. No kick should be without purpose and if we combine the reason why we kick with the way we kick, the result should be a positive one for us.”

A logistical and physical challenge the team will face is the short turnaround after returning from Perth and the fact that Vancouver will be doubled up by the Los Angeles a tournament week later.

Afrika said they only had the Dubai/Cape Town double as reference and will learn from that experience. The team played excellent rugby in Dubai, but failed to entertain in Cape Town a week later.

“We did not adjust well from Dubai going into Cape Town and those were issues that we will now revisit and adjust to accordingly,” he said. “We tweaked our training schedule for Perth as a standalone event and that worked, so have made adjustments that will hopefully delivers a different result, especially in the second week of the tour.”

The squad for Vancouver will be announced on Friday.