Blitzbokke triumph in London

2011-05-22 20:00

London - The Springbok sevens team have staged a monumental come-from-behind win to upset Fiji 24-14 in the Cup final of Emirates Airline London Sevens at Twickenham.

Fiji, with a revamped squad and new coaching staff, swept aside new HSBC Sevens World Series champions New Zealand 42-19 in the semi-finals and also beat the Springbok Sevens on Saturday evening in their last group match.

The Cup final was however a different story altogether. Fiji raced into a two-try lead from the start, but South Africa stuck to their game plan to frustrate their bigger opponents around the fringes, denying them open space from where they are so dangerous.

It was South Africa's third Cup final appearance in their last four tournaments and their second Cup win of the season after they also captured the USA title in Las Vegas. Their London success moved them one position up the Series leader board to third, with 116 points.

New Zealand (150 points) was crowned Series champions after England (121) failed to make the play-offs.

Fiji made a sensational start when they scored a brilliant try from their own try line with Watisoni Votu scoring under the posts after several sublime offloads. Minutes later, Fiji doubled their lead when Livai Ikanikoda scored from what appeared an offside position.

Tries from Johannes 'Boom' Prinsloo and Bernado Botha brought South Africa within touching distance of Fiji.

Botha then scored a very good constructed try to give South Africa the lead at 17-14.

Steven Hunt scored the Blitzbokke's fourth try after the team decided to drive at the Fijian line.

A delighted Paul Treu, the SA Sevens coach, praised the decision-making of his team:

"We never panicked when we fell behind and I'm proud that we stuck to our game plan. We knew we had to frustrate Fiji, to deny them space and to make them work for the ball. They are their best when counter-attacking and we could not afford to give them any space at all.

"You cannot play them on the touchlines, because if you do that you chase them all day long. Our physical strength at the breakdown was the deciding factor and the guys showed great courage and character. We still have one more tournament to go in Scotland and our job is by no means over," said Treu.

Kyle Brown, Springbok Sevens captain, said their tactics were spot on: "This was a huge effort and the guys showed character and belief, especially after we made two mistakes early on which allowed them to score. We managed to pull ourselves together and knew that we had the courage and determination to succeed. You just cannot give those guys space to move and, thankfully, we managed to get our first-time tackling spot on, which proved vital in the end."


  • Jock Bok - 2011-05-22 20:05

    Well done Paul and Kyle and the boys, that was amazing!!!!!

  • Bulls always - 2011-05-22 20:10

    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome What a game of 7's, when last did yousee seven guys in a driving mall on a sevens field. Great comeback from behind and perfect finishing, Go bokke!!!!!!!!!!!

      Grayman - 2011-05-22 20:28

      Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Paul Treu and his team gave the 7's world something to think about. 'Treu'ly special.

  • RobertKay - 2011-05-22 20:14

    Very well played. Those 7 guys driving was almost like the 15 man game - magnificent! Now once more in Scotland, and they will have ended the year very well!

  • daspoort - 2011-05-22 20:17

    Paul Tru you legend. All 7 players in a driving mall caught the Fiji guys by surprise. Great strategy! Well done boys!!

      sonnyg - 2011-05-23 08:09

      Yeah it was funny seeing the shock in the eyes of the fiji player.

  • JC - 2011-05-22 20:23

    Great game !! I've never seen Sevens played like that. They almost played a kind of Bulls game. Great strategy from Paul Tru and company.

  • Rapier - 2011-05-22 20:37

    The REAL face of SA - Well done Boks!!! you guys make all the other crap fade into the background.

  • marco - 2011-05-22 20:40

    Another trophy for the Boks.Why can't the Protea's Cricket Team become as successful as their Rugby and Golf counterparts hey I wonder?

      SYLVERSTAR - 2011-05-22 22:45

      captaincy problem ? ......................

  • saliem - 2011-05-22 21:14

    Boom chakalaka!

  • phoenix - 2011-05-22 21:31

    I think the Proteas could emulate the 7's team if they dropped smith for someone more reliable.

  • di - 2011-05-22 21:33

    awesome, amazing, absolutely brilliant! what a fantastic game to watch! well done to our BLITZBOKKE!

  • di - 2011-05-22 21:35

    This win (and the final in particular) completely made up for the Sharks losing this weekend:)

      SYLVERSTAR - 2011-05-22 22:47

      NOTHING makes up for the sharks losing. sardines ..........

  • Enigma - 2011-05-22 22:01

    A brilliant team effort. Paul Treu is, and always has been, an unsung hero.

      JC - 2011-05-22 22:23

      Spot on Enigma. He's a brilliant tactician. I would love to see what he could do in the 15-man game.

  • elspeth.hassall - 2011-05-22 22:25


  • burtfred - 2011-05-22 22:35

    Brilliant stuff! Rolling maul in the 7's game - completely flumoxed the Fijians. Go SA - you little biscuits!

  • Daw57 - 2011-05-22 23:06

    The Sevens team has one of the best coaches in any sport in South Africa. Paul Treu has single-handedly won huge respect for our team in the rugby world. Every year he loses players to 15-man rugby, and every year he finds new stars. Way to go! And one can listen when he speaks. Well-spoken, a brilliant strategic thinker ... sounds like precisely the guy we need for the Springboks. But ... who will help us to win the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics then?

  • Mahendo - 2011-05-22 23:22

    Congratulations to Paul Treu and his boys for an exceptional win over the rampant Fijans. Don't know how they felt after the game but I was exhausted just watching.

  • Pieter - 2011-05-23 04:47

    Lekker boys, lekker!!!

  • scooter moepeng - 2011-05-23 07:01

    well done boys!!! keep up the good work!!!

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-23 07:24

    Tactical genius Mr Treu - take a bow. The Fijians looked dazed and confused (sort of like Brannas & Plesierspier when confronted with an IQ test)

  • Jacky - 2011-05-23 07:38

    N0o 11 ...excellent... Cecil jy is a doring, Well done boys!

  • Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-23 08:38

    Great to see what Paul's been doing with this team over the last couple of years. Well done on a great result and a good season. This team is going to go on to great things!

  • Flee - 2011-05-23 08:40

    Absolutely brilliant ... Well done boys, we a re super proud of our Blitzies... Editor what is "a very good constructed try"... Really!!!

  • HanHan - 2011-05-23 09:36

    Cograts to Paul and our 7's men. You are a class act.

  • Ongers - 2011-05-23 09:39

    Mooi Manne !!

  • Leb - 2011-05-23 11:15

    Watching the Bokkies at Twickenham this weekend was definitely worth every penny (even though I was seriously pd off by yesterday from being thrown with water/beer and food by obviously some low class spectators all weekend, just for having my Bok T-shirt on I would assume and some seriously bad security breaches going on. Saw Vodka glass bottles all over the place. The best thing was the handshakes, signatures, smiles and chats from the guys in the end. They are not just brilliant players. They are nice too. GO BOKKE!!!

  • Hannetjie - 2011-05-23 12:27

    jippie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1,WELL DONE BLITZIES,WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU Hannetjie Botha

  • garthw60 - 2011-05-23 12:40

    Brilliant result!!!

  • JC - 2011-05-23 13:22

    This is a bit off-topic, but do some of you agree with me that the try conversions are not really fair? I understand that they have to drop, since this is Sevens and that they have to get on with it, but let me explain: Most well worked tries, like taking it through a few phases, passing the ball wide, breaking a few tackles and off-loading result in tries in the corner, thus creating a very slim chance of a converted try. Then you get the break-away tries or "soft" tries which almost always result in tries beneath the posts and a sure seven points. In many games the differences between the sides are the conversions. There's probably nothing one can do about it, but I find it quite unfair.

  • Sporter - 2011-05-23 13:33

    If ever someone deserved the "Coach of the Year" award it is Paul Treu. A coach is someone who accesses a situation and work out a plan to address the team's shortcomings and use their strengths. Brilliant work Paul!

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