Blitzboks hope for better
Scotland clash booked despite last-minute loss to New Zealand
WHILE the Blitzboks didn’t manage to end their day the way they started yesterday, they’ll be hoping for a similar start when they face Scotland today in the Cup quarter-finals of the Cape Town Sevens.
After winning their first two matches of the second leg of the 2018/19 World Sevens Series, the tournament hosts lost to New Zealand in their final match of the day.
Despite the 26-21 defeat, Neil Powell’s men still top Pool A, and will square off with Scotland in the first quarter of the day.
In Dubai last week, the Blitzboks fell out of Cup contention after losing to England in the quarter-final, while New Zealand went on to win their first Dubai title since 2009, after beating team USA in the final.
The Blitzboks ended sixth after losing to Fiji in an fifth-place play-off thriller.
During last night’s climax, the Blitzboks controlled territory and possession and looked in control for most of the game, but New Zealand managed to strike from turnovers to win the match and secure a secondplace finish in Pool A to set up a quarter-final date with the Pool D-winners, Australia, in the last eight.
The All Blacks Sevens side led 14-7 at half time and scored two quick tries in the final seconds of the game to snatch the victory after the Blitzboks had led 21-14 with 20 seconds remaining.
New Zealand, who earlier lost to Samoa, had to win the game to advance.
Earlier in the day, the Blitzboks beat Zimbabwe 43-0 in their second pool match.
On attack, the home side made up for what they may have lacked in Dubai against their fellow Africans as they ran in seven tries.
Siviwe Soyizwapi scored a hat-trick, while Rosko Specman, Kyle Brown, Justin Geduld and Impi Visser also contributed five-pointers. Geduld added four conversions.
In their first match of the day, the Blitzboks got off to a winning start when they beat Samoa.
The defending World Sevens Series champions scored 22 points to Samoa’s 12 after leading 10-7 at the break.
Samoa got on the scoreboard first and took a 7-0 lead, but a yellow card to Alatasi Tupou for a high tackle gave the Blitzboks the chance to take a three-point advantage at the break.
Neil Powell’s men scored two more tries in the second half, before Samoa ran in a consolation try at the death.
JUSTIN Geduld of the BlitzBoks in action yesterday|African News Agency (ANA)