Blitzboks come up short against New Zealand in Cape Town

15 December 2019 - 20:06 By LIAM DEL CALME
The Blitzboks have come up short against New Zealand in Cape Town.
The Blitzboks have come up short against New Zealand in Cape Town.
Image: Springboks Sevens/Twitter

The Blitzboks fell short again on home soil when they lost the final of World Sevens Series tournament here on Sunday.

They surged into the final unbeaten but lost 7-5 to old foe New Zealand who held on grimly to get the desired result.

When it mattered most the Blitzboks again fluffed their lines when it mattered most in front of their home crowd. They would have arrived here buoyed by their success in Dubai last week.

However they made too many errors and ultimately paid the price for their imprecision as the Kiwis held on to the win.

It was the home team however that made the early inroads on the scoreboard.

Before that though, an offensive tackle saw Seabelo Senatla spill the ball forward which handed the Kiwis an early get-out-of-jail card. They surged up field but the home team’s defence held firm until the Kiwis lost possession.

It added to a nervy first half in which no quarter was given. It was a jittery affair in which turnovers were the order of the day.

The tension grew as the first half wore on and although the Blitzboks held the ascendancy they were unable to make proper headway against stubborn defence.

The first half ended nil-nil and it was only after the Kiwis failed to master a kick ahead that Senatla gathered the ball and put an almost unsuspecting Justin Geduld into possession the hosts went ahead. Geduld running on the angle flummoxed all the would be defenders and ran in a very well received try.

Crucially however the conversion was missed. The Kiwis launched persistent attack and it was only after a gap was prised open that Ngarohi McGarvey-Black ran in unchallenged for a converted try that New Zealand nudged ahead.

They grimly defended that lead as the Blitzboks, who won in Dubai as week ago, faulted against the Kiwis on home soil.

Earlier the New Zealand women’s team set the tone with a 17-7 win over Australia.