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Seabelo Senatla, Springbok Sevens, action
Seabelo Senatla, Springbok Sevens, action

Blitzboks Finish Word Series Runners-Up

The Blitzboks finished the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in second place after ending up as losing finalists in the HSBC London Sevens on Sunday.

Scotland stunned the Springbok Sevens with a 27-26 win in the final, their first ever title in the series, with a try in the dying seconds of the pulsating match. The Scots had a 10-7 lead at the break, but South Africa overhauled them to lead 26-15 with two minutes to play. Two late tries stunned the South Africans though.

“We are very disappointed in the way we finished it here tonight,” Springbok Sevens captain, Philip Snyman, said afterwards.

“Well done to Scotland who never stopped playing. We were caught napping at the end and paid the price. We also made too many errors. That said, we made the final and finished second overall, so are keen to improve on that with the Olympics the next aim for us.”

Snyman applauded Fiji for winning the series.

“They needed to slip up early, but unfortunately for us, they did not, so congratulations to them. It was still a great year for us, but there was one of two wins that escaped us and had we claimed them, our lives would have been made much easier. I am still very proud of the boys,” Snyman said.

The team earlier in the day beat Argentina in the quarters and Fiji in the semifinals.

With Fiji earlier in the weekend confirmed HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions and South Africa as runners-up, the match between the best two sides in the world this year proved to be a great one, with South Africa winning 26-21.

Each team took turns to outfox each other and scores were tied 14-14 at the break.

A handling error by the Blitzboks gave an early try to Fiji, but a great run by Tim Agaba from the restart equalled scores. The South Africans took a 14-7 lead when Kyle Brown raced in to score, but Fiji came back with another converted try just before the break.

The second half started well for the Blitzboks with Dylan Sage running strongly following some composed play by the team. That gave South Africa the lead again (21-14) and when Rosko Specman kicked ahead and scored from a set-piece, it was 26-14 with two minutes to play.

Fiji scored again to bring the score within a try, but great defense by South Africa helped them into the final, where they will meet USA/Scotland

The Springbok Sevens team on Sunday progressed to the Cup semifinals of the HSBC London Sevens by beating Argentina 21-19.

This result means that South Africa has reached eight of ten semifinals in the 2015/16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

A quick-fire start by South Africa laid the foundation for the win against the dangerous Pumas.

Tries by Chris Dry and Rosko Specman in the opening minutes gave the South Africans a 14-0 lead before the Pumas got hands on the ball and scored their first.

Cecil Afrika then scored his side’s third for the Blitzboks to go up 21-7.

Argentina fought back and scored their second with less than a minute to go (21-14). From the resulting kick-off, Stephan Dippenaar was yellow-carded and with one man less, the South Africans could not stop the Pumas scoring their third try. The conversion went wide though and South Africa won.

The top five teams in the standings are:
1. Fiji 181
2. South Africa 171
3. New Zealand 158
4. Australia 134
5. Argentina 119.

Notes:

Springbok Sevens winger, Seabelo Senatla ended the series as the leading try scorer with 66 tries. He is also the leading points’ scorer for the team this year with 330 points.

Two Blitzboks, Tim Agaba and Rosko Specman made the London Sevens Dream Team.

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