Sevens side settle for bronze
25 Jul 2009
The SA Sevens team failed in their quest to win a gold medal at the World Games in Taiwan.
South Africa beat Argentina 17-0 in the third-fourth place play-off in front of a sizeable crowd with bagpipes and vuvazelas playing in the background, writes Mark Etheridge on the Sascoc website.
Tries by Paul Delport, Marius Schoeman and Mpho Mbiyoza and a conversion by captain Mzwandile Stick sealed matters. This after South Africa had lost 21-7 to Fiji in the semi-final. Fiji went on to beat surprise packages Portugal 43-10 in a one-sided final.
At the close of the rugby a streaker entertained the crowd, sprinting across the main field while talking on a cellphone but the only streak that was really impressive was Fiji having now won the Sevens title at the last three World Games.
The heavens opened in spectacular fashion just before the medal ceremony, reflecting the outpouring of relief that Team SA were at least on the medals table.
In their quarter-final match, SA had strolled past Hong Kong 39-0.
This is South Africa’s worst showing by the sevens side at three World Games, previously they had picked up silver in losing to Fiji in the final in 2001 and 2005.
But as the final try scorer Mbiyoza said: ‘We didn’t play well against Fiji in that semi-finals. We could have played much better.’
Captain Stick agreed. ‘It just wasn’t good enough. Too many missed tackles and dropped passes. It boiled down to us not being good enough in the one-on-one situation today.’