Blitzbokke lose in Bowl final
Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens side lost their Bowl final
14-10 against Argentina in Dubai on Saturday and now head home to South
Africa where they will be looking to redeem themselves at the Nelson
Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth next weekend.
The Blitzbokke uncharacteristically lost
three of their six matches in Dubai, including two crucial encounters against Portugal and Samoa on
Friday, to register their most disappointing display at the Sevens World
Series since Wellington 2001.
Former IRB Sevens Player of the Year Cecil
Africa will join the squad in Port Elizabeth on Monday but he will only come
into consideration for selection if he passes a fitness test. The Blitzbokke
will also name a replacement for injured skipper, Kyle Brown, who suffered a
broken ankle on Friday against England after less than two minutes of play in
their opening pool match.Results from the Dubai Sevens
Argentina were first to score in the Bowl
final when Matias Moroni took advantage of a SA handling error to open the
scoring with a converted try. He then crossed the line for a second time barely
a minute later to hand Argentina a 14-0 lead just before the break.
Veteran forward Frankie Horne used his
power and pace to set up and then score South Africa’s first try just after
half-time (14-5). Later, Tshotsho Mbovane closed the gap to just four points
with a well-worked try in the corner for the Blitzbokke.
However, Argentina managed to do just
enough to keep South Africa from scoring and to add the Bowl trophy to the
Plate they won at the Gold Coast last month.
After a disappointing day at the office on
Friday, the Blitzbokke won their two earlier games on Saturday to reach the
They came from behind to beat Russia 25-12
in their quarter-final before defeating the United States 22-14 to book a spot
in the final against Argentina.
South Africa fielded a much shuffled team
and took a while to settle and find their rhythm before coming from behind to
lead the physical Russians 12-5 at the break. A much better performance in the
second half, as well as tries from Stephen Hunt, Warren Whiteley and veteran
Frankie Horne saw them home safely.
Against the United States, a strong run
from Cornal Hendricks gave the Blitzbokke their first try and the tall winger
added a second shortly afterwards for a 10-0 half-time lead.
Second-half tries by Colin Hawley and
Carlin Isles brought the US back into the game, but Mbovane’s
touchdown and a late try by Stephan Dippenaar secured the match for South
Afterwards Springbok Sevens coach, Paul
Treu, said his team will now try to put their Dubai disappointment behind them
as quickly as possible and to regroup for their home tournament next week in
“Overall, it was a very disappointing
tournament for us. We now have a week to regroup, get our focus back and to
make amends in front of our home supporters in Port Elizabeth,” said Treu.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens, round
three of the Sevens World Series, takes place on 8 and 9 December in the
Meanwhile, the SA Women lost the inaugural Women's
Series Cup final 41-0 against New Zealand after they had managed to restrict
the Kiwis to a half-time lead of just 12-0. The NZ Women scored five unanswered
tries after the break for a comprehensive victory.
South Africa can, however, take a lot of
satisfaction from their overall performance at the historic event. They beat
England and Brazil on Friday and then got the better of the Netherlands (12-7)
to reach the semi-finals, where they beat Spain 19-17.
Denver Wannies, the SA Women’s team coach
was a happy man despite the loss against New Zealand. “Our goal was to reach
the semi-finals and we did very well to reach the last final. New Zealand was
just too strong for our girls, but we learnt a lot out there today and now need
to keep the momentum,” explained Wannies.