Blitzboks fall short in Sydney

BY MARC JACOBSON - FEBRUARY 8, 2016

Following a 26-12 loss to Fiji in their third/fourth playoff, the Blitzboks positioned fourth in the Sydney Sevens over the weekend.

Prior to that, South Africa were knocked out of contention for the title when they lost narrowly to hosts, Australia, 12-7 in the Cup semi-final. Kwagga Smith was suspended for a high tackle committed near the end of the game and was thus banned to play against Fiji.

Blitzboks coach, Neil Powell, told SuperSport that his side can learn a lot from basics and that his side had to regroup from afresh following their semi-final loss to Australia.

“We must learn that basic errors will always hurt you in knockout matches. We were down to ten men with Philip out injured and Kwagga suspended. So I had to play the newcomers against Fiji, and they learnt a lot from playing such a quality side,” said Powell.

South Africa had a convincing 26-0 win over Argentina in the Cup quarter-final on Sunday morning. On Saturday in the pool stages, the Blitzboks beat Scotland 33-7, Russia 40-0 and Kenya 26-19 respectively.

Despite having bowed out the competition at a crucial stage, two South Africans still managed to make the Sydney Dream Team. The two players are speedsters, Cheslin Kolbe and Seabelo Senatla. New Zealand have three representatives, while Australia claimed two representatives for the tournament dream team.

Following the Sydney Sevens tournament, Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand are all tied first on 69 points in the Sevens World Series standings. They are however, separated on points average which places Fiji first, South Africa second and New Zealand third respectively.

The next Sevens tournament will be held in Las Vegas, USA from 4th to 6th March. The Blitzboks are placed first seeds in their Pool D alongside hosts USA, Canada and Wales.