Blitzboks unbeaten but must beware those breakdown penalties

Blitzboks unbeaten but must beware those breakdown penalties

The Blitzboks qualified for the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong tournament when they beat a tiring Samoa 21-7 in their last match of Pool A to win the pool with some outstanding defence and good use of their opportunities.

Earlier in the day they beat Scotland 26-10 on day where where Werner Kok went through the 100-barrier with tries in the World Rugby Sevens Series when he dotted down against Samoa.

Unbeaten in the pool round, Shakes Soyizwapi ’s team will now meet the series leaders USA at 04:58 on Sunday morning to play for a place in the semi-finals. England beat the Americans in their pool match to finish unbeaten and will play Samoa in the quarter-final.

America were also beaten by Wales in an unlikely result. However, the Welsh failed to advance to the quarter-finals when they were thumped by Spain (26-10) for the seventh successive time! Earlier Spain were beaten 36-7 by the USA and 54-5 by England in their pool matches.

♦ In both Saturday’s pool matches the Blitzboks were denied possession for long periods, mainly through conceding too many penalties at breakdowns that gave the opposition possession.

However, the makings of a possible tournament final are there. The Blitzboks options when they had the ball were great, their running lines were impressive, and speed they have as much of or more than other sides.

Samoa tried to dominate with their superior power and weight, but once they were stretched wide hey often could not keep up in the humidity and stood with hands on hips to a man during breaks for scrums and lineouts.

The Blitzboks were 21-0 up until nearly a minute after fulltime when Samoa made use of a blunder on the Boks tryline to get their only points.

♦ Earlier the same problem of conceding penalties at the breakdown haunted the Blitzboks efficiency and the Scots were also provided with much possession through these mistakes. But as they did later against Samoa, the fluency, speed and support of the Boks carried the day.