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Hawkeye view: Take a deep breath

They did it!! Another dream performance saw the BlitzBokke power through their opposition with accuracy on both sides of the ball.

They managed to accomplish the back-to-back wins over a fortnight.

We learnt some valuable lessons over the fortnight and more importantly we've learnt some very valuable lessons over the first three World Series events, which spans a 10-week period.

From an outsider's perspective, there are some glaring realities in the World of Sevens.

For a team like Fiji who still currently lie second on the log overall, they  have gone from bad to worse – or have they?

They triumphed over their opponents on the Gold Coast and really got their build-up from the end of one season ramping up into a new season right. They recruited well and built a solid squad, which they used to launch their attack on the 2014/15 World Series, which saw them win the Gold Coast title.

Following that, they lost a dramatic game against Australia in Dubai that saw the teams all tied up at 24 in their semifinal encounter. Australia edged Fiji out 29 – 24 in over time. Fiji managed to rally and they were able to close out the tournament by defeating New Zealand in the 3rd and 4th play off.

Going in to Port Elizabeth they had every right to be confident of their chances. They Hawkeye view: Take a deep breathstarted well, blowing through both France and Canada, but then in their last game of pool play they really struggled and they just edged out Scotland 19-17. At that point you started to wonder which team was going to turn up on Day Two.

They were to face a known, but formidable foe in Australia. It also presented them with a great opportunity to avenge their loss the week before. It was a game that would eventually weigh on just how much had the week before and the day before taken its toll on the individuals, but also the team.

Australia was able to break the spirits of the Fijians in their quarterfinal encounter and they won 31-19 sending Fiji out of the Cup race. After that they just weren't the same.

This is still a side and a squad that has a lot left in the tank and with their Head Coach steering the way forward, they'll be back to challenge for the top spot.

There were two other very significant storylines that we'll take a look at from that period.

 Los Pumas?

Yes the Argentineans are in the hunt and under the guidance of Santiago Gomez Cora, they are building in confidence and showed us all that they are starting to become the dark horse in the race for those coveted top four spots at the end of the Sevens World Series – which means automatic qualification for the Olympic Games.

Hawkeye view: Take a deep breathArgentina started their campaign on the Gold Coast, very unassuming, but definitely determined and with an ultimate goal in mind.

They shocked the home team Australia in their Plate semifinal and eventually ended up in sixth overall, with a loss to New Zealand in the Plate Final.

Following that they bounced back and were very consistent in their performance in Dubai, which saw great results against England and Scotland.

That saw them go one better and finish up in Dubai as the Plate Champions. Onward and upward they went in Port Elizabeth as they stunned the crowd with a victory against Australia in their final pool game. Australia would ultimately get their revenge in the third- and fourth-place play-off – where they outlasted the Argentineans.

However, the Argentineans continued to put one brick on top of another and they ended their tournament in fourth position.

That has them in the top five of the World Series standings going in to the last two thirds of the Series.

We then get then get to the BlitzBokke.

They have shown exceptional commitment and fortitude in their fight back to the top.

After a magnificent Gold medal performance at the Commonwealth Games, there was incredible excitement and anticipation for their campaign kick-off on the Gold Coast.

The team showed glimpses of what they are, but could not string a full 14-minute performance together and their seemed to be a lack of chemistry.

Since then, they have gone away and put in some tremendous work, but they have also tweaked the chemistry of the team which has seen the growth and maturity of two young players that were a part of the 2013/14 campaign, but were really just getting their feet wet.

Albertus Smith and Werner Kok have emerged as real stars.Hawkeye view: Take a deep breath

The biggest and brightest shining part of their game is not their speed and ability to break tackles or create opportunity, its in their defensive capabilities as shown in the picture.

Coming in to Dubai and Port Elizabeth, no one was quite sure what to expect. The team bound tight and dug deep and we saw these two young players step up and take on the responsibility time and time again. They had a magnificent support cast in the other 10 players that donned the jersey over the two weeks.  

Now as old as time, the story goes, how long can they hold on to that No.1 spot and how many more cups will they be raising over the remaining World Series events.

They have a target on their back and they will be hunted.

Wellington has had mixed results for the BlitzBokke, but Vegas has always been a BlitzBokke favourite.

With that being said its time for all the teams to take a deep breath and put their feet up and enjoy a little down time for the Christmas break.

By Matt Hawkins

@polarbearkzn

@rugby365com

 

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