Boks win Plate in Hong Kong
Cecil Afrika (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - The Springboks recorded a 26-19 victory over Australia in the Plate final of the Hong Kong Sevens tournament on Sunday after narrowly missing out on the ultimate prize -- a place in the Cup final -- to Fiji earlier on.
"We had our sights set on the cup, and we slipped up against Fiji but that’s the bounce of the ball and that’s the nature of Sevens rugby," skipper Kyle Brown said afterwards.
The team’s performance against Australia highlighted why Brown and his team mates were gutted not to have made the Cup final.
The Boks opened their account with a try by Sibusiso Sithole and although Australians were quick to strike back with a try of their own, the South Africans showed great composure and were the more impressive of the two sides with ball in hand.
While Sithole scored his second after the break a lot of credit for the team’s great showing going has to go to Cecil Afrika for his play-making qualities in the short format of the game.
The Boks enjoyed a 19-7 halftime lead and through great defence by Frankie Horne in particular, kept the opposition at bay as they desperately sought the equaliser in the final minutes of play. "He’s (Afrika) something special, he’s a great play-maker and he’s something classy to play outside of as he puts you through gaps and works his own magic the whole day,' said Brown who had to leave the field as a precaution after he took a nasty blow to the head.
The Bok captain did, however, confirm that the injury isn’t of a serious nature and that he will be available for next week’s tournament in Sydney.
Scorers: South Africa 26(19): Tries - Sibusiso Sithole (2), Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez. Conversions -- Afrika (3)
Australia 19(7): Bernard Foley, Hamish Angus (2). Conversions -- Angus (2)