Blitzboks ease to bronze finish
25 Mar 2012
The Springbok Sevens beat England 28-0 in the third-place play-off on day three at the Hong Kong Sevens.
It was South Africa’s most convincing performance of the day as they dominated a tired English outfit. The Blitzboks played the entire first half in the opposition’s territory. They made good use of their favourable field position and secured a 14-0 half-time lead thanks to Stephan Dippenaar’s snipe at the breakdown and William Small-Smith’s smart run in midfield.
England didn’t improve much in the second half as South Africa sealed the win with a tries via Cornal Hendricks and Branco du Preez.
Meanwhile, Fiji were rampant in the Cup final as they thrashed New Zealand 35-28 in an entertaining match. Canada also won the qualifying section of the tournament, and they’ll be regular contenders on the World Series scene next season with Spain and Portugal, who finished second and third respectively.
Earlier on day three, the Springbok Sevens suffered a 19-12 Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand.
It was a disappointing end to South Africa’s Cup challenge, considering they did well to draw level at 12-12 against New Zealand in the second stanza. The latter held a 12-5 lead at half-time thanks to tries via Jack Wilson and Lolagi Visinia, but were reduced to six men when skipper DJ Forbes was sin binned for a professional foul soon after the restart. Boom Prinsloo capitalised out wide against an outstretched defence.
But once restored to seven men, New Zealand regained the ascednancy and bossed possession, and Tim Mikkelson dived over for the winning score.
The Springbok Sevens beat Samoa 27-14 in the quarter-finals.
Samoa held a 14-5 half-time lead as they scored two converted tries via former EP Kings wing Paul Perez and Faatonia Autagavaia. Lolo Lui added the extras. South Africa could only cross the chalk once through Du Preez.
The Blitzboks then returned an inspired team after the break and delivered a better performance in the second half to seal a big win over the Las Vegas Sevens champions. Hendricks was the star as he grabbed a brace, while Prinsloo and Dippenaar also dotted down.
The Blitzboks’ fixtures on day three:
Cup quarter-final – South Africa 27 Samoa 14
Cup semi-final – South Africa 12 New Zealand 19
Third/fourth-place play-off – South Africa 28 England 0