Blitzboks braced for ‘war’

Neil Powell (Gallo Images)
Neil Powell (Gallo Images)

Rio de Janeiro - Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell expects another "war" when his team face Great Britain in the semi-finals of the Rio Olympics on Thursday.

A solid 22-5 win over Australia on Wednesday in the quarter-finals secured South Africa a final four finish. Fiji and Japan will contest the other spot in the final of the tournament.

It was an impressive performance from the Blitzboks to down Australia so emphatically, especially after they lost 12-5 against them in the pool stages earlier in the day. The South Africans were dangerous on the counter-attack but Powell said it wasn't something they specifically planned for against the Aussies.

"We like to play off turnovers. We've got players in the backline who expose the spaces when we do get turnovers," Powell said.

"Missed tackles are always going to be a concern. We pride ourselves on our defence and making our tackles is one of the things we really work hard on.

"Great Britain is a good side, for me one of the in-form sides of the tournament, so we must make sure we've done our homework and be ready for another war."

Against Australia, it was a strong showing by South Africa from the start. They scored after four minutes through Rosco Speckman and another soon after when Seabelo Senatla jogged in untouched after some slick interplay.

Australia fought back, scoring a try just before the break, giving the Blitzboks a 10-5 lead at the break.

The second half saw strong defence by the South Africans, forcing Australia into mistakes. Kyle Brown scored from a lineout close to the tryline and Senatla bagged a second when Juan de Jongh kicked ahead and Philip Snyman provided a strong chase.

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