France upset Blitzbokke

2011-12-03 11:08
Kyle Brown (Gallo)

Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Dubai - France produced one of their best Sevens performances in decades to shock the Springboks 19-5 in their Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens quarter-final on Saturday.

After the Blitzbokke’s sensational win over World Series champs New Zealand on Friday night, much was expected from Paul Treu’s side against France in the quarters, but they never turned up on day two, something that will forever haunt them after this tournament.

With so much going their way - a good draw, good form and an open road to the final theirs for the taking, the Blitzbokke simply needed to play to the same standards as they did on day one, but found this a tougher task than imagined.

The French were up for the game, dominating the breakdown and using their rush defence to good effect. But had they encountered a Springbok Sevens team even close to the form they showed on day one, then it would have been a different matter.

Instead the Blitzbokke refused to go wide in the first half, and then were beaten at the breakdown, made a number of forced errors when in possession and missed tackles too easily. To illustrate this, the missed tackle count was 8-1 in favour of South Africa while another stat – that the Blitzbokke were only once in their opposition 22 metre area, also tells a story.

The Blitzbokke will need to get themselves up for the Plate now, where they will face Wales in the semi-final, but while the points will be at a premium, their Dubai tournament will still be dubbed a failure.

Their loss wasn’t the only shock of the day, where England beat New Zealand 10-7 in their quarter-final, while Australia were swamped by Fiji 34-7. In the other half of the draw, Argentina beat Wales 7-5 in a scrappy affair to book their quarter-final place.

The Blitzbokke will face Wales at 12:30 (CAT, GMT+2).

Read more on:    irb sevens

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