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Rugby | Sevens

Branco du Preez © Gallo Images

Blitzbokke come unstuck vs Oz

South Africa’s tough run at the Hong Kong Sevens continued as they went down 10-7 to Australia in their final Pool game on Saturday to end second.

In a game where nothing would go right for the Blitzbokke, they made countless mistakes and left their comeback way too late against a young and motivated Australian side.

The Wallabies scored twice early on, racking up a 10-0 lead and the Blitzbokke could only come back into the game late when Seabelo Senatla latched onto a cross kick from Cecil Afrika to score.

But it was a costly comeback as Afrika limped off the field in the process and it waits to be seen if he, as well as captain Kyle Brown will be available for the knockout rounds which start on Sunday.

The Blitzbokke now have a tougher road to the final, and will need to overcome England in their quarterfinal on Sunday, and know if they do so they are likely to face last week’s finalists Fiji or the USA in the semis and New Zealand in the final.

Consistency is a massive factor and with the Blitzbokke only two points ahead of New Zealand with two tournaments after this, it is vital that they have a good third day in the tournament.

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The cracks began to show when Greg Jeloudev beat Stephan Dippenaar all too easily on the inside to score the opening try, and things got worse when a long downfield kick was retrieved by Branco du Preez, but his clearance was charged down and Ed Jenkins grabbed the ball to score.

Frankie Horne knocked on a ball over the line and several other chances were also fluffed on a wet and muddy field that seemed to bring the worst out of the Blitzbokke.

Luckily Neil Powell knows that all that counts is what happens on day three and the energy will be used to ensure that day three is a success.

Quarterfinals (all times CAT, GMT+2)

5.28am Fiji v USA
5.50am England v South Africa
6.12am New Zealand v Wales
6.34am Australia v Canada

Semifinals are scheduled for 9.52am and 10.14am respectively with the final scheduled for 1pm.


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