BlitzBoks realise the 'realities' of SVNS
REACTION: South Africa finished their HSBC SVNS Perth campaign on a high note by outplaying France 24-5 to finish the tournament in fifth place.
Argentina won their second successive tournament to retain their place at the top of the standings, while the BlitzBoks are now tied in fourth spot with Ireland, behind Australia and Fiji after three tournaments.
Springbok Sevens head coach Sandile Ngcobo said the performance against France on Sunday doesn’t make up for the 12-14 loss to Fiji in the quarterfinal on Saturday, but the way the team concluded the tournament brought smiles to all involved.
“That result against Fiji just again showed the realities of this series,” Ngcobo said.
“If you are only one percent off your game, your opponent gets a chance to beat you.
“Against Fiji, that is exactly what happened.
“It was a tight one and we did not get the bounce of the ball.
“However, instead of letting our heads down, the guys bounced back today [Sunday].
“There was a lot of pride in that performance against France.”
* To read all about the weekend’s drama in Perth, CLICK HERE!
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The BlitzBoks were without the injured Quewin Nortje and Ronald Brown in their match against France, but they were just a bit hungrier than their opponents and played with a lot of enthusiasm.
The opening try – with Shilton van Wyk intercepting and running 70 metres to score – might have been opportunistic, but the rest of their effort was a combination of teamwork and individual excellence.
Leading by 7-0, Tristan Leyds scored a lovely try after a flowing side-to-side attack handed the flyer his second try in his debut tournament, which handed the BlitzBoks a 12-0 led at the break.
The second half saw more of the same as the BlitzBok defence forced France backwards and when possession changed hands, they pounced.
Selvyn Davids scored his side’s third try with a lovely shimmy before Donovan Don finished off another flowing move where the ball was moved wide from side to side and the wing going over in the corner.
“Don’s try resulted in a 24-0 lead before France pulled one back in the last minute of play.
“It was clinical,” the coach said.
“The guys showed a lot of hunger for this win and courage for the jersey.
“That was very pleasing to see.
“They also executed [the game plan] well.
“Everything we talked out before the game and how we wanted to approach it played out like that, which was great for everyone.”
Ryan Oosthuizen, the most experienced player for the BlitzBoks in Perth, said they did not want to play for fifth place, but commended the team’s performance.
“We came here to make semi-finals and better, so it was disappointing coming off second against Fiji in a game that could have gone either way,” said Oosthuizen.
“That said, we did well today. Every point counts in this format and we will take those for fifth place. We will go back home and prepare well and then we are off to Vancouver and Los Angeles, so we are lucky to have another opportunity so soon.”