Blitzboks rally from behind to vanquish defending champions Fiji

14 December 2019 - 14:52 By LIAM DEL CARME at Cape Town Stadium
Blitzboks try-scorer Ruhan Nel.
Blitzboks try-scorer Ruhan Nel.
Image: Dereck Green/Gallo Images

The Blitzboks sealed an impressive 26-14 come-from-behind win over Fiji on day two of the World Sevens Series tournament at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

They scored 26 unanswered points after earlier staring down the barrel against the defending series champions.

The hosts showed huge pluck in clawing their way back into the contest but it took them a while to get going. Frankly, they looked a little rattled in the early stages.

They managed to make inroads in terms of field position but they we prone to error, even handling the ball as if it were a bar of soap.

Their defence was exposed after three consecutive penalties resulted in a yellow card for Seabelo Senatla. It helped Jerry Tuwai spot a gap and later Vilimoni Botitu streaked into space to hand the islanders a 14-0 lead.

Rocko Specman pulled one back within a minute of the interval and Justin Geduld duly converted from under the sticks.

It meant Fiji held a 14-7 advantage at the break but Senatla scored the hosts’ second within a minute of the restart.

Ruan Nel’s try after a very handy turnover was met by a deafening din from the 55,000-capacity crowd. The conversion from an acute angle from Justin Geduld drew an equally boisterous response. There was a near eruption when Geduld ran in the Blitzboks’ fourth try, which effectively sealed the win.

Despite the capricious weather the crowd warmed to the occasion. The sun has played hide and seek so far here on Saturday but that did not deter Capetonians from dressing up — and some down — for the occasion.

Leopard print and camouflage seems to be en vogue at the minute. As you’d expect on dress up day though, there was huge variety. Half a dozen young females dressed as brides walked in formation and the young men who crossed their path cut a wide berth.

Unsurprisingly there was also a group of Speedo-wearing 'Faf de Klerks' and there were lots of lawn tennis players too.

There was a mini swarm of female bees too, while a pod of jelly fish fluttered about the main stand. There was another group who tried to make a point. They were either traffic cones or VLC media players.

Earlier Kenya caused a mild upset by beating Australia 12-7, France beat Scotland 24-19, England beat Spain 33-7, Argentina beat Wales 45-0, New Zealand beat Canada 31-5, while Ireland ran out 28-14 winners over Samoa.

South Africa’s women’s team lost their second match of the tournament. They went down 31-12 to Russia.

The Blitzboks who beat Japan on the opening day will play the United States in their final pool A match at 8.03pm on Saturday.


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