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Blitzboks battle to quarters clash against England

Blitzboks

By Mark Etheridge

The Blitzboks sevens side are through to the final stages of the season’s final HSBC World Sevens Series in London, but they’ve made heavy weather of things.

Two 12-10 wins in Pool A against Kenya and Wales respectively were followed with a 24-12 loss to the United States at Twickenham.

Against Wales it was a second-half try by Rosco Speckman that got the Blitzboks back on level terms, after a try by Luke Morgan saw Wales lead 5-0 at the break. The Blitzboks saw Chris Dry yellow-carded in the first 30 seconds of the half.

The conversion of Speckman’s try saw them leading 7-5, before skipper Phillip Snyman went over after a tap penalty.

The Blitzboks then went on the attack to try and wrap things up at 12-5, but with the tryline begging, Owen Jenkins intercepted inside his own 22m line and brought it back to a two-point margin.

Once again, as in the match against Kenya, a missed conversion saw the Blitzboks win 12-10.

Against the US the Blitzboks were again on the back foot after a heel against the head saw Stephen Tomasin dot down for a 7-0 lead.

A try by Ruhan Nel squared things up before Ben Winkelman powered the States to a 12-17 halftime lead.

Big Shakes Soyizwapi then squared things up again after some great work by the mercurial Werner Kok, but then some magic by Perry Baker saw him turn on something from nothing and make it 17-12. The powerhouse that is Andrew Durutalo made it a convincing 24-12 for the US.

Both sides had already booked their spots in the next phase, and the Blitzboks will now face England in the Cup quarter-finals at 12.42pm SA time.

The other match-ups are: US v Australia (11.58am), New Zealand v Scotland (12.20pm) and Argentina v Canada (1.04pm).

Picture of Soyizwapi in action against the US courtesy of Charles McQuillan/Getty Images for World Rugby


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