Blitzbokke win Cape Town Sevens tournament

14 December 2015

This weekend’s win is the Springbok Sevens’ third consecutive win on home soil, after their triumphs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournaments in 2013 and 2014. The win in Cape Town puts the team at the top of the log for the World Rugby Sevens Series 2015, as joint leaders with Fiji.

Sunday’s final featured some impressive and inspired play from the South Africans, including the physicality of forwards Kyle Brown and Philip Snyman, and the pace of Rosko Specman, Cheslin Kolbe and Seabelo Senatla against a determined and dogged Argentinian defence.

No one created more havoc, though, than centre Justin Geduld, whose kicking set up scoring opportunities for both Specman and Senatla. Geduld was named Player of the Match.

The brave South American Pumas refused to give up the chase. But after a Kolbe run set up a try for Ryno Benjamin and gave South Africa its fifth try of the game, the partisan 52 000 strong crowd cheered the home team to a conclusive win, and the end of a great weekend of world-class rugby.

“We made it hard for ourselves again in the final,” Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell told SA Rugby after the game. The team had to improve from the previous day’s performance, in which the Blitzbokke faltered against Kenya, losing by two points. “I am proud of the way the team responded to the pressures and expectations from a fantastic home crowd,” Powell said.

Brown, the captain, thanked the crowd for their support over the past two days, highlighting “the way the anthem was sung and the noise they made”, as the inspiration the team needed to win the final.

The weekend provided some interesting upsets on the road to Sunday’s final. Argentina won against New Zealand in the quarter-finals, while Kenya ended the USA’s run during the pool matches on Saturday. South Africa struggled in its quarter-final against Australia, but came back strongly in the second half with a flurry of tries to win 26-5 and a spot in Sunday’s final.

Current World Sevens Series 2015 standing:

  • 1. Fiji – 35 points
  • 2. South Africa – 35 points
  • 3. USA – 29 points
  • 4. Argentina – 29 points
  • 5. England – 26 points
  • 6. France – 25 points
  • 7. New Zealand – 25 points

The next stop in the series is in New Zealand at the end of January, where the Blitzbokke will top Pool A and face New Zealand, Scotland and Russia. The tournament will be played in Wellington on 30 and 31 January.

Source: News24