News24

Blitzbokke win Plate final

2014-05-11 19:57

London - Inspired by the in-form Seabelo Senatla, the Springbok Sevens defeated Kenya 38-14 in the Plate Final of the Marriot London Sevens at Twickenham to finish the HSBC Sevens World Series in second place behind New Zealand.

The speedster was in superb form and his three tries against Kenya was in fact his second hat-trick of the day after he led his team to a thrilling 24-17 comeback victory against Samoa in the semi-finals. He finished the tournament as the top try scorer after collecting an impressive 13 tries over two days.

The Springbok Sevens were missing Kyle Brown, Cecil Afrika and Stephan Dippenaar, while Werner Kok also suffered a leg injury on Sunday.

South Africa lost 32-5 against rivals New Zealand in the quarterfinals and had to dig deep against Samoa, who led halftime 17-0. However, a hat-trick by Senatla and a try by Philip Snyman paved the way for a Plate Final showdown with Kenya.

Kenya defeated South Africa in the Plate semis last week in Scotland and the Springbok Sevens were in no mood to suffer a similar feat on Sunday at Twickenham.

Senatla opened the scoring and he was quickly followed by Kwagga Smith and Frankie Horne, enabling the Blitzboks to enjoy a halftime lead of 19-7. Senatla then scored a quick brace after the break, while Jamba Ulengo also added his name to the scorers list.

Afterwards, Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said he was proud of the way his team fought back after their loss against New Zealand.

“We set high standards for ourselves and the players wanted to show they can play much better,” said Powell. “We showed good fighting spirit against Samoa after a poor first half.

Against Kenya we controlled the match from the start and scored a deserved win,” said Powell.

Powell, in his first full season in charge, led the Blitzboks to two Cup titles – in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas – and his outfit also played in five consecutive Cup Finals.

•New Zealand won the HSBC Sevens World Series title for a fourth consecutive year after finishing the season on 180 points.

The Springbok Sevens finished second on 152 points.

The final World Series standings after the Marriott London Sevens:

1. New Zealand 180 points
2. South Africa 152
3. Fiji 144
4. England 134
5. Australia 116

Sport24

Comments
  • Tshivhenga Ndou - 2014-05-11 20:17

    Would have loved the cup, but thanks. You are a pleasure to watch!!

  • Josep Kapovic - 2014-05-11 20:19

    What will it take to break the NZ hoodoo? I believe it's a psychological thing - our rugby coaching team must seriously consider taking our boys for psycological debrief and support before the 7's, otherwise the All Blacks will always humble them not due to their superior skill, but the sheer mental fortitude that they have.

  • trev2 - 2014-05-12 15:22

    New Zealand are just brilliant. No other team comes anywhere close to their standard of sevens rugby. They are a pleasure to watch, even though it hurts when they defeat our guys.

  • Ruca Fallen - 2014-05-12 16:17

    My 10 point plan on how to become the number one rugby playing nation in the world (again): 1) Establish a rugby academy, run by sport scientists, free of politics. 2) Once a year, select 30 of the biggest, fastest and smartest single athletes you can find, under the age of 22. 3) Developed players in teams over a 4 year period to be in optimal physically and mental condition by the time they graduate. 4) Develop teams to execute numerous game plans under pressure against seasoned rugby players. 5) Select the Springbok squad exclusively from the academy graduates of that year. 7) Players are paid up to (say) R1m for every win, based to the international ranking of their opponents and the players individual performance. 8) Teams select their own captains. 9) There are no coaches; only advisers, analysts and team managers. 10) Players are protected financially should they get injured.

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