Blitsbokke recover from early loss to book clash against Kenya

2015-02-07 00:00

THE Blitsbokke recovered from a shaky start at the Wellington Sevens to book their spot in the tournament quarter-finals ­yesterday at the fourth leg of the HSBC Sevens Series.

Neil Powell’s charges did not enjoy the ideal start as they unexpectedly lost 22-5 to France in the opening clash of the day. ­Perhaps the pressure of their top-dog status on the series log was a burden, but the Blitsbokke produced too many errors that does not bode well for the rest of the tournament.

But a couple of clinical performances against the United States and Japan saw the Blitsbokke recover and end second in Pool A, pitting them against Kenya in their quarter-final clash today, who topped Pool D alongside Scotland.

South Africa’s poor outing against France came down to some elementary errors and indiscretions at the breakdown. The French hit the Boks hard with some powerful runs and a try from Kwagga Smith was scant consolation.

However, the Boks returned to their winnings ways against the U.S. Looking more like the side who won the Dubai and Port Elizabeth sevens, the Blitsbokke were clinical on attack and far more ruthless on defence.

Smith was again industrious, scoring two tries against the Americans, while Cecil Afrika and Seabelo Senatla also dotted down. Mention must be made of Werner Kok, whose work in the midfield helped pave the way for his team-mates.

Their final outing of the pool stages was against Japan and the South Africans never looked like losing. Despite conceding a try late in the second half, the Blitsbokke were firmly in control.

Kok scored a solid try as a reward for his bullish work on attack and defence, while Senatla, Bulls wing Warrick Gelant and Cheetahs flyer Phillip Snyman also crossed the whitewash.

The second win meant the Blitsbokke finished second in the pool, while the U.S. topped it with massive wins over Japan and France.

Putting the first day behind them will be crucial for the Blitsbokke and Powell will be urging his charges to up their intensity, especially on defence, if they are to claim their third series win.

The Blitsbokke top the series standings and will look to keep that spot as they eye qualification for the Olympics next year.

In today’s other cup quarter-finals, U.S. take on Scotland and Fiji meet England, while a clash of the titans sees New Zealand take on Australia.


SA 5 France 22, SA 24 Japan 7, SA 26 U.S. 14.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.