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Another late try sees Boks beaten by Kiwis… this time in the final
- Updated: January 31, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
New Zealand’s Joe Webber broke Blitzbok hearts for the second time in 24 hours on Sunday as he again scored the winning try against the South Africans with the hosts winning the Wellington leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Webber went over in the left corner after a sweeping move from their 22-metre line with the full-time hooter already having sounded after 20 minutes of scintillating sevens rugby.
A day earlier he’d done the same to beat the Blitzboks in their final Pool A Game.
Sunday’s full-time score read 24-21 to the Kiwis after the Blitzboks had lead 12-7 at the break through tries by skipper Phillip Snyman and the mercurial Roso Specman… with some ugly and uncalled for booing by the home supporters at the Blitzbok tries.
Akira Ioane, one of the stars for the Kiwis this tournament, pulled the New Zealanders into contention as he scored with 1:29 to go in the half. Specman could have put the Blitzboks even further ahead as he dived for the right corner with time over but once again it was that man Ioane who was on hand to tackle him out of play.
Shortly after the break it was the searing pace of Seabelo Senatla who put the Blitzboks ahead after an adventurous Sonny-Bill Williams offload went awry, was picked up by replacement Francois Hougaardt who freed up Senatla.
The game changing moment came with just 3:40 to play as referee Matt O’Brien (who made some ‘interesting’ decisions mostly in favour of the hosts) sin-binned Specman for a professional foul five metres out from his line and it proved crucial as Ioane’s brother Rieko scored two quick tries to bring the score up to 21-19.
It was still the Blitzboks’ game to lose, as Specman boosted them to full strength but again there were a few missed tackles in the build-up that allowed the Kiwis to make all that progress to finally free up Webber for that winning moment.
Consolation though, as the series heads for Sydney next week, is that the Blitzboks’ results over the last two days sees them topping the series standings with 54 points. That’s two points clear of Fiji and New Zealand have made a big move up to third spot in 47 points.