Springbok Sevens in dramatic win to keep Cup hopes alive

Dec 12 • General News, International, Sevens Rugby, Sevens World Series, World Rugby • 1745 Views • Comments Off on Springbok Sevens in dramatic win to keep Cup hopes alive

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Photo: Deon Holtzhausen / Rugby 15

The Springbok Sevens team scored a dramatic 10-0 win over England in their final pool B clash of the first-ever HSBC Cape Town Sevens at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday to keep their defence of the South African leg of the Series alive. They will meet Australia in the Cup quarterfinals at 12h26 on Sunday.

The South African Blitzboks earlier in the day suffered an unexpected 14-12 defeat to Kenya and had to beat England, last weekend’s finalists in Dubai, to secure a spot in the Cup quarters.

The Kenyans proved to be a hard nut to crack, as they also drew with England in their opening pool B match. They outclassed Zimbabwe in their third pool match to top pool B.

Against England, the Blitzboks got on the scoreboard early, courtesy of Juan de Jongh, who capitalised on England having a player in the sin bin. The local hero stepped past a couple of defenders to keep the crowd, who swelled to more than 52 000 during the day, happy and coming back for more on Sunday.

The only other score in the match came in the second half when Ryno Benjamin crossed the line following some sustained pressure by his team.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell was proud of the win, but admitted that it was a frustrating day.

“We are in the Cup quarters where we wanted to be, but things just did not happen for us today. We made many mistakes and very few of the things we tried, really worked. That said, we are still on track defending our title. There are no injuries in the camp, so we will give it our best on Sunday,” he said.

Kenya produced one of the big upsets of the day by beating the Blitzboks 14-12. The South Africans raced in with ease as Seabelo Senatla scored his first of the weekend, but then poor defence handed the Kenyans two tries and the halftime lead.

The South Africans, spurred on by the packed crowd, pulled one back with a try by Chris Dry, but failed to deliver the knock-out punch, even with Kenya one man down in the last minute of play.

The Springbok Sevens team opened their day with a solid showing against neighbours, Zimbabwe. They scored three times in the first half to lead 19-0 at the break and impressed with their good handling and play on attack. The Zimbabwe Cheetahs applied themselves better in the second half, but by then the Blitzboks lost some shape on attack and a dysfunctional line-up had the warning lights flashing.

Fiji and Australia were the only two sides to win all three of their matches, with log-leading Fijians very impressive. They scored 129 points and 21 tries and have now won their last 33 pool matches in the series.

New Zealand suffered a defeat to Canada for only the second time in history, but topped Pool D with a 19-10 win over Samoa to set up a quarter-final with Argentina.

The USA will play Kenya in the last Cup quarterfinal.

All the results of Day One are:

Pool A: Fiji 34, Scotland 19; Argentina 33, Russia 5; Fiji 52, Russia 0; Argentina 19, Scotland 14; Argentina 0, Fiji 43; Scotland 33, Russia 10.

Pool B: England 19, Kenya 19; South Africa 26, Zimbabwe 5; England 43, Zimbabwe 0; South Africa 12, Kenya 0; Kenya 36, Zimbabwe 0; South Africa England

Pool C: USA 26, Wales 19; Australia 45, Portugal 0; USA 52, Portugal 7; Australia 41, Wales 17; Wales 40, Portugal 5; USA 21, Australia 26.

Pool D: New Sealand 19, France 14; Samoa 24, Canada 10; New Zealand 12, Canada 24; Samoa 19, France 22; Canada 26, France 26; New Zealand 19, Samoa 10.

Fixtures for Sunday, 13 December are: 

10:36 Scotland vs Samoa

10:58 Wales vs Zimbabwe

11:20 Canada vs Russia

11:42 England vs Portugal

12:04 Fiji vs France

12:26 Australia vs South Africa

12:48 New Zealand vs Argentina

13:10 Kenya vs USA

South African points scorers:

South Africa 10 (5). Tries: Juan de Jongh, Ryno Benjamin

England 0 (0)

South Africa 12 (7). Tries: Seabelo Senatla, Chris Dry. Conversion: Justin Geduld

Kenya 14 (14). Tries: Collins Injera, William Ndayara. Conversions: Biko Adema (2)

South Africa 26 (19). Tries: Cheslin Kolbe, Juan de Jongh, Justin Geduld, Rosko Specman. Conversions: Justin Geduld (2), Rosko Specman.

Zimbabwe 5 (0). Try: Riaan O’Neill

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