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Gritty win keeps Blitzboks in contention in Cape Town
- Updated: December 12, 2015
South Africa beat England 10-0 on Saturday to set up a Cup quarter-final showdown on Sunday with Australia at the Cape Town Sevens.
SA Rugby magazine’s Jon Cardinelli reports that the Blitzboks’ hopes of claiming a South African Cup title are still alive.
They were unconvincing in their first pool match against Zimbabwe. They were woeful in the loss to Kenya. And yet, in the decisive match of the pool against England, they showed enough physicality and resolve to obtain the result and advance to the next round of the elite competition.
England did themselves no favours with a limp and ill-disciplined performance. Phil Burgess received a yellow card for an off-the-ball transgression in the first half, and the Bliztboks scored (through Juan de Jongh) in his absence.
England were punished again in the second stanza when James Rodwell kicked out at a South African player in the air. The referee consulted with the touch judge before showing Rodwell a yellow.
The card meant the end for England, who trailed South Africa 10-0 at that stage.
The Blitzboks showed more urgency at the breakdown in this fixture. They improved on some poor defensive showings witnessed in the two previous pool matches. That said, their handling in contact and management of the kickoffs was still not good enough.
South Africa will need to produce a superior showing if they are to advance any further in this tournament. They will face Australia in the first round of the Cup play-offs on Sunday.
BLITZBOKS’ RESULTS (DAY 1)
South Africa 26 Zimbabwe 5
South Africa 12 Kenya 14
South Africa 10 England 0
CUP QUARTER-FINAL FIXTURES (DAY 2)
12:04: Fiji vs France
12:26: South Africa vs Australia
12:48: New Zealand vs Argentina
13:10: Kenya vs USA