Blitzboks face Australia in Cup quarters in Vancouver
The Springbok Sevens team will face Australia in the HSBC Canada Sevens Cup quarterfinals on Sunday. The Blitzboks scored wins over Russia (38-5) and Scotland (21-0) to make it into the last eight, but dropped a 33-14 result to New Zealand in the pool D decider early Sunday morning (SA time).
Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, was pleased with the two wins, but said they were dominated by New Zealand in their clash.
“We were certainly outplayed in the physicality stakes against New Zealand, especially in that first half where they scored three unanswered tries. They dominated us at the breakdown and we hardly had the ball.”
Powell believe that they will come back stronger in that area on Day Two.
“The nice thing about sevens is that you do get another chance the next day, so we will have to improve in that area. We also need to defend well if we want to make it into the final four,” the coach said.
Against Russia, the Blitzboks were slow out of the blocks, but did score a handful of tries in the second half, including a first for his country by Muller du Plessis, playing in his second tournament.
The Blitzboks controlled the tempo against the Scots and struck when the opportunities came.
Three early tries by New Zealand had the Blitzboks in trouble and although they scored two tries after the break, they could not recover and had to concede top of the pool standings against the Kiwis, one of four teams that were undefeated after day one. The others were Fiji, Australia and England.
Ruhan Nel did not play against New Zealand as he was rested.
“He had a bit of a tight hamstring, so we decided to give him a break. In all, I am happy that the whole squad had a good run on the first day,” Powell said.
Russia – Tries: Cecil Afrika (2), Dylan Sage, Ruhan Nel, Muller du Plessis, Stedman Gans, Zain Davids. Conversions: Branco du Preez (3), Selvyn Davids.
Scotland – Tries: Siviwe Soyizwapi, Kyle Brown, Selvyn Davids. Conversions: Branco du Preez (3)
New Zealand – Tries: Kyle Brown, Dylan Sage. Conversions: Branco du Preez (2)
The Cup quarterfinals are: (SA time)
20h08 – South Africa vs Australia
20h30 – Fiji vs Argentina
20h52 – New Zealand vs USA
21h14 – England vs Kenya