Blitzboks outsmart Fiji for Cup win

The SA Sevens overturned a 14-0 deficit into a 24-14 victory over Fiji in the Cup final at the London Sevens.

The Pacific Islanders were brutal in the opening exchanges. They dominated the Blitzboks with their superior size and scored two early tries for a 14-0 lead. South Africa managed to settle and restrict Fiji from then on, and hit back with two uncoverted tries through Boom Prinsloo and Bernardo Botha. Fiji led 14-10 at the break.

Then came the Blitzboks’ comeback. Botha completed a brace early in the second stanza to put South Africa ahead. Fiji fought back aggressively and looked like reclaiming the lead, but they were matched by a resilient defence.

At the death, the Blitzboks used clever tactics (normally used in 15-man rugby) to keep Fiji at bay. They used the rolling maul at the lineouts to suck in the opposition, and once they reached the red zone, they utilised the pick up and drive method. The South Africans were clinical in their execution and eventually sealed the win with a Steven Hunt score.

Ealier on day two, South Africa beat Wales 21-19 in the Cup semi-final. Converted tries from Prinsloo and Botha gave South Africa a comfortable 14-0 lead at half-time.

However, Wales hit back in the second, scoring two converted tries within three minutes of the restart. But Prinsloo made it safe late in the piece and booked a final against Fiji, who they lost against in the pool stage.

In the quarter-final, Cecil Afrika scored two tries as the Blitzboks beat Australia 17-0. Afrika has excelled in the penultimate tournament, and was central to their success once more with his second half brace setting up a semi-final against Wales. Bernardo Botha, another standout performer, scored early in the first half.

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