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- Mthembu puts SA back on podium… after 23 years!
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- Blitzboks skipper calls for improvement on home soil
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Blitzboks up against it after going down to US
- Updated: May 16, 2015
It’s the Blitzboks against Fiji in the World Series sevens rugby showdown on Sunday, writes Mark Etheridge.
Comfortable wins against Portugal and France came to an abrupt halt as they lost to USA on day one of the season-ending leg in London.
A frustrating failure 21-12 against US means they only ended second in Pool D as their opponents were unbeaten.
Now they must beat Fiji in the Cup quarter-finals as well as go on to win the tournament if they are to lift the World Series trophy.
Against the US the Blitzboks scored first as Stephen Dippenaar got his third try of the tournament after excellent work by the dynamo that is Werner Kok.
Nelspruit’s Kok then got the second try, converted by Justin Geduld and it was 12-0 just before the halftime mark.
But then came the game-changer as captain Kyle Brown was sin-binned with seconds to go.
That meant the Blitzboks started the second half with six against seven and the US made them pay… dearly through two tries through enforcer Garrett Bender and paceman Perry Baker.
The Blitzboks failed to score in the second half and were out cold when replacement Carlin Isles trotted over down a gaping blind-side alley to leave the South Africans everything to play for on Sunday.
Neil Powell’s men will certainly not be happy with their defeat as missed tackles and unforced errors mean a mountain to climb against their arch-rivals Fiji.