The Springbok Sevens team’s search for a fifth HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title will continue on Sunday when the Blitzboks take on Australia in the Cup quarterfinals of the HSBC Singapore Sevens.
The fixture in the Singapore National Stadium will see an eighth consecutive Cup quarterfinals appearance for Philip Snyman and his troops, but hard work awaits against the Australians if the Blitzboks want to progress into the final four of the competition.
“Yes indeed, the Australians are playing pretty well at the moment. We need to be at our best, trust our system and eliminate the silly mistakes we are making at times,” Snyman said after Day One of the tournament last won by South Africa in 2004.
“You need to be able to beat any team in the quarterfinal if you want to win the title, but that only takes you to the semis, where more hard work awaits,” Snyman said.
The captain was disappointed, but not in the dumps, after their final pool B match against England, which South Africa lost 17-12. England scored from the kick-off after South Africa fumbled the ball, but a try by Werner Kok late in the half helped the South Africans to a 7-5 lead at the break.
That was short-lived however, as England scored from the second half restart again and then extended the lead a minute later to lead 17-7. Tim Agaba ran hard and straight for his first try of the year, but time ran out for the Springboks, who has now lost to England for the fourth time this year.
“We are playing against ourselves as well. We need to protect the ball better and not give them soft turn-overs and points,” lamented Snyman.
Earlier the Blitzboks had to pull out all the stops against France, edging the Europeans 10-7. Siviwe Soyizwapi scored an unconverted try either side of half-time, but also conceded a yellow card that allowed the French to score a comeback try.
The South African defensive held up though, for a hard-fought win.
“France were up for it, they managed to beat England in their opening match and provided us with a tough match,” Snyman admitted.
In their opening match in pool B, South Africa totally outplayed Japan, winning 52-0. The South African attack proved pretty clinical in this match, with Siviwe Soyizwapi scoring a hat-trick and Zain Davids, who is playing in his sixth tournament, dotting down for the first time.
Werner Kok scored a brace as well, with Sandile Ngcobo and Dylan Sage also joining the try-fest. Branco du Preez kicked five conversions and Ruhan Nel one.
The Cup quarterfinals are: (SA time)
06h30: Fiji v USA
06h52: Australia v South Africa
07h14: New Zealand v Canada
07h36: England v Kenya
Selected stats from Day One Singapore:
South Africa results:
Beat Japan 52-0
Beat France 10-7
Lost England 12-17
Top try scorer:
Siviwe Soyizwapi (5)
Top points scorer:
Siviwe Soyizwapi (15)