Blitzboks settle for bronze

The Blitzboks recovered to clinch the Bronze final against Canada on Sunday after a Cup semi-final defeat against New Zealand who went on to win their first Cape Town Sevens crown with a 38-14 victory against Argentina in the Cup final.

Two second-half tries for New Zealand in the Cup semi-final ruined South Africa’s hopes of avenging last year’s reverse in the final as the Kiwis won 19-12.

This came after the Springbok Sevens team produced a stirring comeback against Fiji in the Cup quarter-final earlier in the day.

But the Blitzboks didn’t leave empty-handed, holding on to beat Canada 19-17 in the third-place playoff to add XX log points to their tally in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Not only did South Africa surrender the Cape Town Sevens title for a second successive year, but they also relinquished first place in the overall standings to  New Zealand who had too much firepower for Argentina in the Cup final.

Two tries from Joe Ravouvou combined with scores from Vilimoni Koroi, Tim Mikkelson, Regan Ware and Sione Molia carried New Zealand to victory over an Argentina side chasing their first Cup win since San Diego in 2009.

“We had a good first day, but on Sunday we came up short in our execution,” said Blitzboks coach Neil Powell.

“We did not protect the ball when we needed to and will have a look back after our break on where we need to improve for the next two tournaments in Australia and New Zealand.”

Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman said the victory over Canada was a good way to end the tournament: “Obviously we wanted to contest the final, but it was not to be. The win over Canada was a positive though.”

“I’m so proud of how the boys played this weekend and last weekend,” said captain Scott Curry. “It could have gone either way after we lost our first pool match against USA yesterday but day two is another day.

“We started fresh today and really worked for each other and that’s what won it for us. We’ll look forward to our home tournament in Hamilton coming up soon – it’s a new city and they really love their rugby there.”

Australia is the next stop on the circuit with the teams resuming duty in Sydney on January 26-28.

Cape Town Sevens, Sunday’s results
Cup final – New Zealand 38-14 Argentina
Bronze final – South Africa 19-17 Canada

Cup semi-finals
South Africa 12-19 New Zealand
Canada 12-14 Argentina

Cup quarter-finals
South Africa 31-26 Fiji
England 12-17 New Zealand
Canada 35-7 France
USA 12-28 Argentina

Series Standings after two rounds
New Zealand, 41 points
South Africa, 39
Fiji, 28
England, 27
Argentina, 24

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer