Blitzbokke to face Aussies in quarters

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iol spt feb7 Blitzbok Getty Images The Springbok Sevens will face Australia in the Wellington Sevens Cup quarterfinals after they finished second in Pool A. Photo by: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

Johannesburg – The Springbok Sevens will face Australia in the Wellington Sevens Cup quarter-finals after they finished second in Pool A behind England.

England handed South Africa their first loss on Friday since the Dubai final last November, thumping them 19-5 in the pool decider.

The Springbok Sevens team went through the tournaments in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas unbeaten.

Coach Neil Powell said he was not happy with the loss against England, but added he was glad they accomplished their aim for the day.

“We weren't at our best against England and made some unforced errors,” Powell said.

“Credit to England who took their chances and they deserved to win.

“Our main goal was to qualify for the quarterfinals so tomorrow (Saturday) we will start from scratch.”

Earlier in the day, South Africa defeated Wales 26-0 in their opening game and later added a second victory when they won 27-5 against Portugal.

After two very convincing performances against Wales and Portugal, the Springbok Sevens came unstuck against a determined England team who refused to give the South Africans the upper hand at the breakdowns and the much needed space for their dangerous backs.

England were clinical in their ball retention but the Springbok Sevens made some unforced errors, which handed the advantage to their opponents.

Jamba Ulengo was unfortunate to knock on with only one man to beat while Dan Norton did just enough to prevent Justin Geduld from opening the scoring after a clever chip and chase.

Two tries by Tom Mitchell and another one by James Rodwell clinched the match for England. Cecil Afrika scored the South Africans' only try.

South Africa will however be able to take a lot of positives from their two earlier matches against Wales and Portugal.

Sampie Mastriet (2) and Geduld scored three tries amongst themselves to hand the South Africans a 19-0 half-time lead against Wales. Chris Dry then added another score after half-time seal the outcome.

Against a lively Portugal, tries by Frankie Horne and captain Kyle Brown handed the Bok Sevens a 10-0 lead. Ulengo then crossed the try line twice after half-time while Dry also got on the score sheet. Nuno Guedes dotted down for Portugal.

South Africa currently leads the Sevens World Series after four rounds, closely followed by Series champions New Zealand.– Sapa


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