The diminutive Davids was highly instrumental in South Africa’s charge towards the podium, but a high tackle in the quarter-final not only saw the Humansdorp native leave the field bloodied and dazed, but also ruled him out of the remainder of the tournament.
Davids – whose contribution at that stage was 30 points (four tries and five conversions) – saw space behind a flat Argentinean defensive line early in the game and chipped ahead for what was likely to be his fifth try, only to be flattened by a high tackle, which resulted in a red card for the South Americans.
The 27-year-old Davids was forced to leave the field and could not contribute to the Blitzboks’ effort, which ended on a disappointing note as the South Africans suffered defeat despite having a numerical advantage for 10 minutes.
“That was not nice,” David admitted as the team prepared for their departure back to South Africa.
“You always want to be on the field, in the heat of the battle with your brothers, but I could not do so. Up to that stage it was going so well for me and the team.
“I really enjoyed our opening match (against Ireland). Just to be on the field again, playing at that level was a great feeling, and running out after such a long time was very satisfying.”
Davids’ four conversions were all from very tough angles, but he attributed that to the conditions at Tokyo Stadium.
“The ball we played with was great and the conditions perfect, so it was just a matter of striking it properly,” said Davids.
He pointed to the Blitzboks’ last match – a 28-7 win over USA to claim fifth place – as their best of the tournament.
“Being a spectator, I could watch properly, and what I liked about that match was the absolute control we had,” he said.
“In sevens, you want to control the game and we did that perfectly. I would say that was our best effort.”
That result provided the biggest winning margin for South Africa (21 points), surpassing the 19 points they had beaten Ireland by in their opening match.
A statistical review showed that the Blitzboks – apart from the result against Argentina – again compared well with the rest.
Davids was the leading points’ scorer, followed by Stedman Gans (15), Ronald Brown (14) and Justin Geduld (14).
He also finished fourth on the overall scoring list, behind New Zealand’s Andrew Knewstubb (37 points), Argentina’s Santiago Mare (33) and USA captain Madison Hughes (32), despite playing in four matches, compared to the six of the others.
And Davids’ four tries equalled the South African benchmark set by Cecil Afrika and Seabelo Senatla in Rio in 2016.
A total of 195 tries and 1,244 points were scored across the 34 matches – an increase on Rio 2016 where 175 tries and 1,104 points were scored in the men’s competition as rugby sevens made its Olympic debut.
24: New Zealand and Fiji
19: South Africa