Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens
team claimed top spot in Pool D of the Sydney Sevens and will face England in
the Cup quarter-finals of the tournament, played at Spotless Stadium in Sydney,
The Blitzboks scored
good wins over Tonga (45-5) and Argentina (25-10) and then conceded two late
tries against Australia to lose 29-21 on Day 1 of the tournament, the fourth
in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
The Blitzboks had
already secured a spot in the top eight before kick-off, but the win
pushed Australia into the top tier as well. They will face Fiji, who edged
England earlier to claim top spot in Pool A.
The last result did
spoil the Blitzboks' day though, said coach, Neil Powell afterwards.
"No, I am not
happy with that last defeat. We did some good things during the day, but
against Australia some bad habits came back and we again conceded a yellow card
and a crucial try in the time we had one player short on the field."
Powell said the team
must close out games in the last minutes of matches, not concede tries.
"We need to make
a step-up in that regard, especially tomorrow when we are in the knock-out
stages of the tournament. We have slipped up in knocking teams out of the Cup.
We did that in Cape Town against New Zealand and again today against Australia.
This has an impact on the overall standings on the log on the long
The Blitzboks had
some misfortune in their opening match when Philip Snyman clashed heads with a
Tongan opponent. He sustained a gash on the cheek and was ruled out of play for
the rest of the day.
“Philip had a bit of
a headache afterwards and we decided to give him a rest. He will be tested
again in the morning. If he is fit, he will play, if not, Kyle Brown will
replace him,” Powell said.
Tonga scored first in the
match when Fine Inisi finished off a long range effort after just two minutes.
The Blitzboks regrouped quickly with tries by Werner Kok and Siviwe Soyizwapi,
both converted by Branco du Preez for a 14-5 lead at the break.
The second half was
much more pleasing on the eye for Blitzboks supporters as Kok and Soyizwapi
grabbed a second each, as did Stedman Gans. Dewald Human grabbed a late try and
kicked two conversions. Selvyn Davids kicked one conversion.
the Blitzboks again trailed in the first half. Renzo Barbier scored for the
South Americans before Soyizwapi ran hard for his first five pointer of the
match. Scores were tied 5-5 at the break.
The second half saw
Soyizwapi scoring his second before Selvyn Davids ran 80 meters to finish a
counter attack. Argentina came back with a try by Rodrigo Etchart, but Justin
Geduld and Gans both ran in for the win.
As Argentina earlier
in the day overcame Australia, the match against the Blitzboks was a
must-win for the defending champions. They needed to win by five points or more
to stay in the Cup. A great start raced them to a 17-0 lead in the first four
minutes following tries by Jeral Skelton and Lewis Holland (2).
Geduld pulled one
back just before the break, with the Aussies leading 17-7 at halftime.
The second half
proved a good fightback by South Africa. Geduld scored a second and when Gans
scored and Selvyn Davids converted, the South Africans were in the lead, 21-17.
Australia scored twice though to clinch the match and a place in the last eight.
The quarter-finals, to
be shown live on SuperSport, are (SA times):
03:16: Fiji v
03:38: New Zealand v
04:00: South Africa v
04:22: USA v Spain