Blitzbokke claim third spot
Cape Town - South Africa beat England 28-0 on Sunday to claim third place at the Hong Kong Sevens and consolidate their third place on the HSBC Sevens World Series log.
The Blitzbokke earned 17 valuable points, which increased their tally for the season to 93 points. Despite their 35-28 loss to Fiji in the Cup final, New Zealand still lead the standings on 111 points and they are closely followed by Fiji on 109.
The final was superbly handled by South African referee Rasta Rashivhenge. The next tournament starts on Saturday in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, South Africa will continue to monitor the injuries suffered by Cecil Afrika and Paul Delport. Afrika hurt his knee in the Cup quarter-final victory over Samoa and played no part in the following two matches. Delport also injured his knee and had to leave the field against England.
“Cecil underwent a sonar scan at the stadium and fortunately the damage is not too severe. He and Paul will hopefully be ready to play for us next weekend in Japan,” explained SA Sevens coach, Paul Treu.
Stephan Dippenaar got the Blitzbokke on the scoreboard against England and they doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime when substitute William Small-Smith, on for the injured Delport, scored under the posts.
Cornal Hendricks scored his fifth try of the tournament after the break when he collected a clever kick by Chris Dry. Branco du Preez then capped a good all-round performance with his 30th World Series try just before the final siren.
South Africa started the day well when they proved too strong for the formidable Samoa, beating them 27-14 to book their place in the last four of the Cup competition.
However, this victory came at a huge cost when star playmaker Afrika was ruled out of the semi-final with New Zealand because of injury. Hendricks (2), Du Preez, Boom Prinsloo and Dippenaar all scored tries for the Blitzbokke against the 2012 USA champions.
In the important semi-final encounter, New Zealand won 19-12. It was however a much better performance from the Blitzbokke than a day earlier, when the Kiwis beat them 19-10 in their final pool fixture.
Results on Sunday on the final day of Hong Kong Sevens at Hong Kong Stadium:
Fiji 26, Argentina 7
England 19, Australia 14
South Africa 27, Samoa 14
New Zealand 31, Wales 7
New Zealand 19, South Africa 12
Fiji 14, England 7
South Africa 28, England 0
Fiji 35, New Zealand 28
Samoa 12, Argentina 10
Kenya 14, United States 12
Series Standings: (After 6 of 9 tournaments)
1. New Zealand 111 points. 2. Fiji 109. 3. South Africa 93. 4. England 89. 5. Samoa 82. 6. Australia 62. 7. Wales 61. 8. Argentina, France 57 each. 10. Kenya 34.