Players gave their all - Treu
Port Elizabeth - Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu
was disappointed after his side fell short at the Nelson Mandela
Bay Sevens here on Sunday, but praised the commitment shown by his players.
The Blitzbokke finished strongly to claim the bronze medal after they lost in the Cup semi-finals to eventual champions New Zealand.
South Africa thumped Argentina 35-0 in the third place final and delivered a polished display to leave the home crowd with something to shout about after the earlier heartache.
Cheslin Kolbe, playing at scrumhalf/sweeper in place of injured Paul Delport, was the big hero of the match, scoring a hat-trick of tries and providing great energy in the attacking play. He scored 25 points, with Phil Snyman and Cornal Hendricks scoring the other tries.
The Blitzbokke came up short against New Zealand in the semi-final, losing 12-5, with a try with less than a minute to play by the men in black, not allowing South Africa enough time to muster a final attack.
The hosts scored first through a delightful try by Delport, with the scrumhalf being worked the space to cross in the corner following some good interplay on his inside.
New Zealand equalled matters soon after the break and then scored late to deny South Africa a second consecutive final of their home event.
“It was very disappointing,” Treu admitted afterwards. “We had our chances and so had they, with the only difference that New Zealand took that the one that mattered.
“I cannot fault the commitment of my players, they gave their all. It is a pity we could not do it for the crowd who supported us so well. At least we finished strongly and gave a good performance in the bronze final.”
In their first match of the day, South Africa had to come from behind to beat a very competitive United States. Although the Blitzbokke scored first when Ruwellyn Isbell finished off a delightful Delport chip, it was the US who rallied via Nick Edwards to take a 7-5 lead.
South Africa responded brilliantly, scoring from the restart. First Chris Dry won the ball and, after some deft work by Cecil Afrika, Cornal Hendricks crashed over to give his side a 12-7 lead at the break.
The second half was a frantic affair, with the US creating some scoring chances, but great cover defence from South Africa kept them at bay. Kolbe sealed the semi-final spot for the Blitzbokke with a great run to the line and a 17-7 win.
New Zealand won the tournament in convincing style by beating France 47-12 in a one-sided final.
After three tournaments, they lead the series table with 38 points. Fiji, Samoa and Kenya are on 32 points followed by France on 27. The South Africans are currently sixth with 24 points.Results on Sunday from the Port Elizabeth Sevens, the third leg of the IRB world sevens series at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium:Cup
South Africa 17, United States 7
New Zealand 35, Wales 5
France 10, Portugal 7
Argentina 15, Fiji 12Semi-finals
New Zealand 12, South Africa
France 10, Argentina 7 (after extra time)Third placeSouth Africa
35, Argentina 0Final
New Zealand 47, France 12PlateSemi-finals
Wales 26, United States 19
Fiji 26, Portugal 12Final
Wales 26, Fiji 14BowlQuarter-finals
Australia 24, Zimbabwe 14
Kenya 19, Scotland 17
Samoa 36, Canada 21
England 14, Spain 7
Australia 24, Kenya 21
Samoa 15, England 12Final
Australia 26, Samoa 14Shield
Zimbabwe 21, Scotland 14
Spain 29, Canada 12Final
Spain 33, Zimbabwe 0Series standings (after 3 of 9 rounds):
1. New Zealand 60 points
2. France 46
3. Fiji 44
4. South Africa
5. Samoa 39
6. Kenya 37
7. Argentina 36
8. Wales 31
9. Portugal 21
10. Australia 19