SYDNEY – The Springbok Sevens team claimed top spot in pool D of the Sydney Sevens and will face England in the cup quarterfinals of the tournament, played at Spotless Stadium in Sydney, on Sunday.
The Blitzboks scored good wins over Tonga (45-5) and Argentina (25-10) and then conceded two late tries against Australia to lose 29-21 on Day One of the tournament, the fourth in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
The Blitzboks had already secured a spot in the top eight before kick off, but the win pushed Australia into the top tier as well. They will face Fiji, who edged England earlier to claim top spot in pool A.
The last result did spoil the Blitzboks' day though, said coach, Neil Powell afterwards.
"No, I am not happy with that last defeat. We did some good things during the day, but against Australia some bad habits came back and we again conceded a yellow card and a crucial try in the time we had one player short on the field.”
Powell said the team must close out games in the last minutes of matches, not concede tries.
"We need to make a step-up in that regard, especially tomorrow when we are in the knock-out stages of the tournament. We have slipped up in knocking teams out of the Cup. We did that in Cape Town against New Zealand and again today against Australia. This has an impact on the overall standings on the log on the long run.”
The Blitzboks had some misfortune in their opening match when Philip Snyman clashed heads with a Tongan opponent. He sustained a gash on the cheek and was ruled out of play for the rest of the day.
“Philip had a bit of a headache afterwards and we decided to give him a rest. He will be tested again in the morning. If he is fit, he will play, if not, Kyle Brown will replace him,” Powell said.
African News Agency (ANA)