Bl­itzboks face feared Fiji in Dubai Sevens

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

THE SPRING­BOK Sevens squad have the tough task of fac­ing Fiji in the cup quar­ter-fi­nal of the Dubai Sevens Se­ries af­ter los­ing 19-14 to a young Aus­tralian squad yes­ter­day.

Had the Boks won, they would have been up against Eng­land which would have been a less daunt­ing chal­lenge than fac­ing the Sevens spe­cial­ists.

In both open­ing tour­na­ments of last sea­son, Fiji kept the Boks from reach­ing the fi­nals.

Fail­ure to pro­tect the ball at the break­down re­sulted in many turnovers and some se­ri­ous at­ten­tion needs to be paid to this as­pect of the Spring­bok game if they are to achieve suc­cess.

For the sec­ond time in the day’s play Ce­cil Afrika scored the open­ing try for the Bl­itzboks which he also con­verted.

Un­like in the first two fix­tures of the day, Paul Treu’s charges looked far more com­posed, but still failed to put enough pres­sure on the Aus­tralians who wasted no time to wipe out the early deficit and en­tered half­time with a de­served 12-7 lead.

Debu­tant John Grant, who scored his team’s sec­ond try in the first half, added five more points af­ter the break when Aus­tralia out-mus­cled the Boks at a ruck.

Grant scored five tries on his first day with the top teams.

Afrika even­tu­ally re­stored some pride with a fine fin­ish, but it was too late and prob­a­bly the de­served re­sult on a day of mixed for­tunes for the in­ex­pe­ri­enced South African squad.

Af­ter a solid vic­tory against Rus­sia, the Boks were held to a 19-all draw by Scot­land.

Hav­ing looked the bet­ter side they had to en­due a coura­geous fight-back from the Scots and con­ceded a try to draw sec­onds from the whis­tle.

Had it not been for the missed con­ver­sion at­tempt by An­drew Skeen – his kick strik­ing the up­right – the Boks would not have had any chance of reach­ing the cup quar­ter-fi­nals.

Against Rus­sia Afrika and Kyle Brown showed that they are start­ing to get the hang of the high­paced ver­sion of the game while Bernardo Botha is sure to cel­e­brate the try he scored on de­but.

The con­sis­tency that Treu asked for from his team was not de­liv­ered on the day. Had the squad, which fea­tures six new play­ers, man­aged to give Treu what he wanted it would have been in­ter­est­ing to see how tough they could have made life for their op­po­nents. – Sapa

HAIR RAIS­ING: Ce­cil Afrika’s try re­stored some pride in the de­feat to Aus­tralia.

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