Not much has changed since last week’s tournament in Hamilton.
The unconvincing Blitzbok, slightly better than lkast week, are through to the Cup quarter-finals of the Sydney7s tournament in World Rugby’s Sevens Series after three rather disappointing runs in their Pool D matches and a defeat in the last, against home side Australia on the first day of the Sydney7s.
South Africa won Pool D on a count-out and was the only of the quarter-finalists to lose a match.
South Africa will meet England, second-placed in Pool A behind Fiji who won all three their matches, including against hopefuls England whom they narrowly defeated 14-7.
♦ The Blitzboks started hesitantly against the over-aggressive and under-skilled Tongan team who collected two red cards, a number of yellow cards and many penalties against for their disregard for the laws and the spirit that exists between the various teams’ players. Tonga as a team are not needed in this competition if this is how they want to play.
The Blitzboks made handling errors aplenty, resulting in a surfeit of turnover ball to the Tongans, who, despite their many limitations on attack and defence, led 5-0 after two minutes. By shortly before halftime and already 5-7 down, Tonga had forced the Blitzboks to make 15 tackles of which eight were missed before the South Africans put a few phases together to lead 14-5 at the break.
The series of errors continued thereafter, but there was enough good stuff in between by the South Africans to win 45-5, scoring seven tries on their way there.
♦ South Africa scored five tries to two en route to their 25-10 win over Argentina who had beaten Australia in the first round. Again the handling and the defence in especially one-on-one situations, weren’t of the expected quality.
♦ It therefore came as no surprise when Australia, in both teams’ third match if the day, led 17-0 before the Boks struck back.
Three good tries followed and after 11 minutes South Africa took the lead at 21-17 with some very good play in between the poor defence and many handling turnovers. However, judging by their previous two performances, it came as no surprise when they leaked another two tries to lose 21-29.
With South Africa beating Argentina, Argentina on top against Australia and the latter having the better of the Blitzboks, the three teams were tied on seven log points each. On a points difference count-out South Africa were placed first with Australia’s last try sneaking them into the quarters and Argentina losing out on the Cup quarter-final berth.
The quarter-finals on Sunday ‒
03:16 Fiji vs Australia
03:38 New Zealand vs France
04:00 South Africa vs England
04:22 USA vs Spain