Bl­itzboks hope for bet­ter

Scot­land clash booked de­spite last-minute loss to New Zealand

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW [email protected]

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.

PHANDO JIKELO

JUSTIN Geduld of the Bl­itzBoks in ac­tion yes­ter­day|African News Agency (ANA)

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