Wellington Sevens: Blitsbokke ‘learnt a harsh lesson that you’ve got to be consistent’

2013-02-04 00:00

CAPE TOWN — South Africa finished a disappointing Wellington Sevens campaign with a 21-15 defeat against Australia in the Plate semi-finals on Saturday at the Westpac Stadium.

England beat Kenya 24-19 in a thrilling Cup final after scoring a last gasp try to level the scored 19-19 with no time left on the clock during regulation time. They scored the decider in the first half of extra-time.

South Africa collected 10 points for their efforts and are joint fourth on the Sevens World Series log with 51 points, a tally they share with Fiji and France. New Zealand, who finished third in Wellington, still leads the standings on 77 points, followed by Kenya (56) and Samoa (54).

In what was arguably the most entertaining quarter-final, Kenya defeated African rivals South Africa in a thrilling finish.

Having trailed 15-7 and 20-14, Willy Ambaka scorched away to score his second try of the match to snatch a 21-20 victory for Mike Friday’s side with four missed conversions proving decisive for the South Africans.

Paul Treu’s team outscored Kenya by four tries to three, but their failure to slot over conversion kicks was their downfall.

Afterwards, Kenya dramatically beat the All Black Sevens 19-14 to reach the final for a showdown with England.

Having trailed 14-0, Mike Friday’s side scored two second-half tries to take the match into sudden-death extra-time before Oscar Ouma scored the all-important try, his second of the match.

A disappointed Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach, said afterwards their inability to be consistent cost the squad dearly in Wellington.

“We did not start the tournament on a good note on Friday and finished in poor fashion today. With so much experience missing, the team learnt a harsh lesson that you’ve got to be consistent and to maintain that consistency if you want to advance in this very competitive World Series.

“So again, back to the drawing board and hopefully we can bounce back and deliver a much better performance next week in Las Vegas,” explained Treu.

Branco du Preez will join the Blitsbokke today in Las Vegas as replacement for debutant Justin Geduld, who broke his hand on Friday against Canada.

Du Preez has now recovered from his niggling hamstring injury which has kept him on the sidelines for three tournaments.

The SA draw for round five of the Sevens World Series next week in Las Vegas: Group B: Kenya, South Africa, Canada, Uruguay.

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