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Blitzboks end fourth at Gold Coast sevens

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By Mark Etheridge

South Africa came up well short in the opening IRB World Series sevens rugby tournament in Gold Coast, Australia on Sunday.
After an opening day which saw them win their opening three matches, the Blitzboks booked their place in the Cup semi-final with a 12-10 win over Australia early on Sunday morning (SA time)
That saw them come up against Samoa but they went down 28-12 after trailing 14-5 at the break.
The Samoans got away to a 14-0 lead before Philip Snyman got SA on the board just before halftime. Seabelo Senatla then crossed for a superb try, his fifth of the tournament when he ran in from the halfway line. The conversion saw SA trail by just two points.
But Samoa then extended their lead to 21-12 after Samoa Toloa went over after a SA knock-on. and it got worse as Samoa rubbed further acid into the burn as Fautua Otto crossed over the hooter to make it 28-12.
That saw Neil Powell’s troops into a battle for third and fourth place against England who had earlier knocked New Zealand out of the Cup battle.
But it was a resounding whitewash for the white-shirted English side as they scored three unanswered first half tries to lead 19-0 at the break. The second half saw Powell making numerous changes in an effect to catch up but the English defence held firm to seal third.
The series now marches on to Dubai in early December where the Blitzboks will look to continue on the road to Rio 2016 Olympic qualification… the first four sides in the 2014/15 series gaining automatic qualification.


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