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Three-try Blitzboks boot France to face Argentina in Sevens final
- Updated: December 13, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
An ever-improving Blitzboks sevens rugby side forged their way into the final of the Cape Town leg at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After a decidedly poor start to the tournament on Saturday, the Blitzboks were back on song on Sunday in front of a sold-out stadium.
First they beat Australia 25-5 in the Cup quarter-final and as the sun started sinking over the Atlantic it was France who were beaten 21-12 to book the Blitzboks a final berth.
Like in the quarter-final it was the opposition who started better and got points on the board as giant No7 Virimi Vakatawa went over to the left of the uprights for a converted try.
But with less than two minutes gone it was home town boy Juan de Jongh who shimmied over with no need for the overlap in the shape of Rosko Specman on his outside. Justin Geduld’s conversion was good and it was all square at 7-7.
Then with 1:50 to it was Specman who got into the action as he took a quick tap penalty while a French player was incapacitated and he went over to the left of the uprights.
The conversion was good and the score was good too at 14-7.
There was more of a buffer for the Blitzboks as De Jongh affected a good steal after the halftime hooter had sounded and it was a clever chip pass from Specmen who freed up hard-working forward Phillip Snyman. Geduld added the extra two and it was 21-7 to SA at the break.
There was only one score after the break as the ponytailed Pierre Gilles Lakafia went over down the right flank but the conversion went awry as the scoreline read 21-12, still breathing space for the South Africans.
Francois Hougaard and Snyman were then substituted by Ryno Benjamin and Seabelo Senatla respectively. and the Blitzboks could have added to their tally after forcing the French to carry over their own goal line and give the the host nation the scrum but Geduld was happy to boot the ball into touch and live to fight another day.
Said skipper Kyle Brown, playing his 50th World Rugby Sevens final: ‘Sports all about momentum and if you don’t have your own momentum at least stop the other side’s momentum. I thought the most encouraging thing was the boys’ character on the first day…. we started with some very average rugby but a good final game against England transformed into a quality performance against Australia today… now for the final.’
That final will be against Argentina at 7.30pm after the South Americans had held on for a nailbiting 24-22 victory in the second Cup semi-final.