NEWS ARTICLES
Disappointed Blitzboks aiming to bounce back
April 15, 2018
The Springbok Sevens team missed out on a podium finish at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia and have now set their sights on the remaining two objectives they aim to achieve this season.

That was the message from Blitzbok coach Neil Powell, after his team suffered two defeats in the Robina Stadium on Sunday, first to Fiji (24-19) in the semi-finals and then to England (21-14) in the bronze medal play-off.

“It was a very disappointing performance and not what we wanted to achieve for Team South Africa,” said Powell.

“We just did not deliver and were not good enough on the day. Our attack did not function as earlier in the year and we gave both Fiji and England opportunities to score points.”

Powell said the team will now shift their focus to the remainder of the season: “We had three big objectives this year, and the fact that we failed in the first will make us more determined to succeed in the other two.

“We are still leading the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with four tournaments to go, so we will put a lot of effort into that. The Rugby World Cup Sevens in July is also another one we targeted to do well, so hard work awaits.”

Springbok Sevens captain Philip Snyman lamented his team's execution on the final day in Australia: “We played well on the first day, but on Sunday, when it mattered, we did not.

“There are no excuses for that; we learned some harsh lessons. The match against Fiji could have gone either way to be honest, but we gave them too much in that first half. Against England, we controlled the first half, only to concede three tries and our chance for a medal, which hurts.”

Against Fiji in the semi-finals, three mistakes in the first half saw the current Olympic champions race away to a 12-0 lead at the break. A brace by Rosko Specman and a try for Dylan Sage evened out the scores and extra time was needed to determine the winner, when a stray pass by South Africa saw Fiji sprint away for the winning score.

In the final match of the tournament, against England, two well-worked efforts by Branco du Preez and Ruhan Nel had the Blitzboks in control at the break.

But they failed to maintain the effort in the second half as England capitalised on mistakes and scored the winning points in the final minute to claim bronze.

The medals went to New Zealand (gold), Fiji (silver) and England (bronze). The next tournament in the World Series is the HSBC Singapore Sevens on 28-29 April.

Scorers:

South Africa v Fiji – Tries: Rosko Specman (2), Dylan Sage. Conversions: Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika.

South Africa v England – Tries: Branco du Preez, Ruhan Nel. Conversions: Branco du Preez (2).

Notes:

Branco du Preez was the leading points' scorer with 33.

Rosko Specman was the leading try scorer with five (25 points).

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
Castle Lager Incoming Series
Saturday, June 23 2018
17:05 - South Africa vs England
Newlands Rugby Stadium, Cape Town
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, August 18 2018
17:05 - South Africa vs Argentina
Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
Saturday, August 25 2018
21:10 - Argentina vs South Africa
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Saturday, September 08 2018
12:05 - Australia vs South Africa
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday, September 15 2018
09:35 - New Zealand vs South Africa
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, September 29 2018
17:05 - South Africa vs Australia
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, PE
Saturday, October 06 2018
17:05 - South Africa vs New Zealand
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Castle Lager Outgoing Tour
Friday, November 02 2018
00:00 - England vs South Africa
Twickenham, London
Saturday, November 10 2018
00:00 - France vs South Africa
Stade de France, Paris
Saturday, November 17 2018
00:00 - Scotland vs South Africa
Murrayfield, Edinburgh

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