DURBAN – Fiji made it three golds in a row in Singapore which put them ahead of South Africa for the first time in this season’s World Series. The Blitzboks were forced to settle for fourth spot, their worst finish of the series.
It puts a serious dent into the hopes of the Blitzboks defending their Championship Crown as the Fijian’s late rally seems to be tying in with the South Africans perhaps feeling a little fatigue.
Fiji have a four point lead with only two legs, London and Paris, remaining in the series. For the Blitzboks, there are a few questions to be answered as they are also in the throws of building up their depth and unearthing some stars.
To that end, they are also down a few key players with stand-in captain Kyle Brown and the explosive Rosko Specman dropping out due to injury on Day One. They have also lost the services of 15-man stars Seabelo Senatla to the Stormers and Kwagga Smith to the Lions.
Day Two for the Blitzboks did not go as well as their Day One, but they did put on a brave performance. First up was Kenya who were felled quite clinically, 24-12, thanks to a hat-trick from the speedster Siviwe Soyizwapi.
This win set them up for a tough semi-final against Fiji who had dispatched New Zealand 24-19.
The Blitzboks came out firing against and managed to get themselves into the lead, but the Islanders still managed to turn over a 10-point deficit to win 12-10.
That loss meant Fiji would almost certainly overtake the Blitzboks at the top of the standings, but with the South Africans going down 26-24 to England in the third-fourth play-off and Fiji winning the final against Australia 28-22, their new lead extended to four points.
Powell was nevertheless pleased with a number of aspects.
“We asked the players for three things - to bring energy, look after the system and put in the effort, and they did that,” he said.
“I am happy they delivered on those things we wanted. The season is not over yet and I am looking forward to those two remaining tournaments.”