Blitzboks take bronze, Fiji make history

2016-08-12 03:30
Francois Hougaard (Getty)

Rio de Janeiro - The Blitzboks have won the bronze medal in the Sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics after they beat Japan 54-14 on Thursday night. 

South Africa had seen their chances of a gold disappear earlier in the day when they lost 7-5 to Great Britain in the semi-finals. 

The Brits were blown away by Fiji in the tournament final, going down 43-7 as the men from the South Pacific made history by becoming the first team to win an Olympic gold in Sevens.

It would have been hard for the Blitzboks to pick themselves up after their semi-final, but they were convincing as they outclassed the surprise package of the tournament to secure South Africa's second medal of the day and fourth of the Games. 

The Blitzboks scored within a minute through Juan de Jongh and then scored again through Rosko Specman. 

Japan, though, were not going to simply roll over and they had a try of their own towards the end of the opening period through Yusaku Kuwazuru.

Specman scored his second of the night just before half time and the Blitzboks led 21-7 at the break.

The second half saw Japan strike immediately through Kazuhiro Goya to make it 21-14, but the Blitzboks restored their 14-point lead soon after when Cecil Afrika broke through.

When Afrika scored his second down the left with 5 minutes remaining, the match was over as a contest. 

Justin Geduld, Specman with his third and Cheslin Kolbe wrapped it up, and while it wasn't the result the Blitzboks wanted at the tournament, they did more than enough to leave Rio with a medal.

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

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