Blitzbokke give New Zealand six of the best
Cape Town - Wow! That’s one way to describe the Blitzbokke’s dismantling of New Zealand at the Dubai Sevens on Saturday as they thrashed the Kiwis 40-0 in the Cup quarter-final.
The Springbok Sevens scored six of the best as they hounded their traditional foes with a complete performance on attack and defence, with hardly any mistakes.
The South Africans will now take on Wales - who upset Australia - in the Cup semi-final (3.03pm SA time), with Olympic champions Fiji squaring up against England (2.41pm).
Even the normally reserved Blitzbok coach Neil Powell couldn’t stop himself from praising his team. “Definitely the best performance of the weekend. Yesterday we were still trying to find our feet and getting a bit of the rustiness of the off-season off us. Definitely the best performance for us out there, especially in defence - the guys really stuck to their roles and responsibilities within that defensive system,” Powell said immediately after the match.
“It definitely helps that the guys know each other, have the experience and know what to expect from each other in tough situations. We spoke about it - if there is no effort and attitude, then experience counts for nothing.
“We tried to suffocate the opponents, whether it’s in attack or ruck time, or in defence. Our focus is on Wales now.”
The Blitzbokke rattled the Kiwis from the start with their rush defence, which saw New Zealand’s Rocky Khan throw a loose pass that was picked up by Kyle Brown, with Cecil Afrika cutting through to score.
It didn’t take them long to get a second, with World Sevens Player of the Year Seabelo Senatla grabbing his seventh try of the weekend.
New Zealand felt the heat and even messed up their own lineout inside their 22, Brown again on the ball and this time going over himself.
The South Africans never stopped their relentless defence and clinical attack, with further tries to Chris Dry, Justin Geduld and Werner Kok.
While Fiji are perennial favourites in the shortest format of the game, the Blitzbokke will have a real chance of winning the title if they replicate their quarter-final performance.
Before that, though, they have to overcome Wales, who stunned Australia 21-12, while England came back from the dead to beat Scotland 24-21 after the Scots failed to end the game despite getting a penalty after the hooter, which allowed the English to get the decisive try by Ruaridh McConnochie.
Fiji cruised past France 40-5 in the first Cup quarter-final.
South Africa - Tries: Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Kyle Brown, Chris Dry, Justin Geduld, Werner Kok. Conversions: Branco du Preez (2), Afrika (1), Geduld (2).
Dubai Cup Semi-Finals
2.41pm: Fiji vs England
3.03pm: Wales vs South Africa@ashfakmohamed