SOUTH Africa’s hopes of winning the HSBC World Series ended with a whimper and not a bang, as they bowed out to Fiji 19-7 in the quarter-finals of the London Sevens at Twickenham yesterday.
With the victory, the Fijians ensured the World Series was theirs and the only side that could have caught them — the Blitzbokke — were out of contention.
The showdown that so many had hoped for in the World Series ended up being a one-sided affair, with the tactics the Blitzbokke used coming into question as they chose deliberately to take Fiji on and take contact wherever possible. Their execution wasn’t very good though, and the turnovers so feared turned into points for the Fijians as they simply sent the ball wide and beat the man one-on-one to rack up a 12-0 lead at halftime.
The Blitzbokke twice kicked the ball away aimlessly when behind on the scoreboard and watched as Fiji just ran at them.
In the end not even a try by Chris Dry could stem the tide, as the Fijians once again bundled the South Africans out of the competition in the quarter-finals and into the plate section.
In reality the Blitzbokke lost the series when they surrendered the World Series lead last week in Glasgow and their failure to lead from the front after winning in Dubai and Port Elizabeth finally came back to haunt them.
There was some consolation in Glasgow as they did secure qualification for the Rio Olympics next year. — SuperSport