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BlitzBoks not dwelling on mishap against Ireland

REACTION: The BlitzBoks qualified for the HSBC SVNS Cape Town quarterfinals despite going down to Ireland in their final pool game at a vibrant DHL Stadium on Saturday.

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The BlitzBoks didn’t deliver a perfect performance in any of their games and were taught a lesson in patience against Ireland, but they did what was needed to progress and showed the necessary composure at crucial times in their first two matches.

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Apart from short spells against USA and Ireland, their defence was spot-on and their attack also asked questions of their opposition, although their options could have been better.

South Africa will now face Australia in the quarterfinal on Sunday. The other quarterfinals are Argentina v Canada, Ireland v New Zealand and Fiji v France.

BlitzBoks head coach Sandile Ngcobo expressed disappointment in the execution in some areas of play against Ireland.

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“Congratulations to Ireland with the win – we had our chances and did not make the most of it,” said Ngcobo.

“We became a bit loose in that game. We are best when we have the ball in hand, but we made a number of errors where we gave possession away, which was something we didn’t do in the earlier games.

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“Overall, I felt we did well and I don’t want to dwell too much on the mistakes made against Ireland. We will have a look and analyse how we can do better in that area.”

Ngcobo said Australia will be a tough opponent: “We played Australia in Dubai last weekend and that was a tough game, they are a very good outfit and we will need to be very organised tomorrow when we face them. The teams know each other well and it will be about who makes the right decisions and make that count in the match.”

The BlitzBok coach thanked the crowd that came in on Saturday and said they hope to see lots of spectators return on Sunday: “We are hoping for another good crowd, they were terrific today and their support gave the team a lot of energy. It would be great if we have another full day, that will help us in our push towards the title.”

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In their opening game, Quewin Nortje scored twice in the BlitzBoks’ 19-5 victory over Great Britain.

The windy conditions didn’t seem to bother the Blitzboks, although they would be first to admit that they could have been a bit sharper with ball in hand.

Nortje scored early from a sniping blindside break from the base of a ruck, but Great Britain hit back on the stroke of halftime through Harry Glover.

Geduld then restored the BlitzBoks’ lead shortly after the break, converting his own try to make it 12-5.

Three minutes later, Nortje was at it again, his second try all but sealing the deal for the host nation as Brown added the extras.

The BlitzBoks then won their second pool game against the USA by 26-14.

The South Africans had a great first half and kept the USA scoreless, while Ryan Oosthuizen and Rosko Specman scored converted tries that had the crowd on their feet.

However, a yellow card early in the second half to Justin Geduld opened the door for the Americans, who scored twice in two minutes through Lucas Lacamp to level the scores at 14-14.

With a number of replacements taking the field, the BlitzBoks steadied the ship and late tries by Impi Visser and Ronald Brown sealed the deal.

It wasn’t to be against Ireland in the last match of the day though, with the visitors clinching a nail-biter by 14-12 as both teams scored two tries apiece.

Specman got the first for the BlitzBoks, but two tries late in the first half gave Ireland a 14-5 lead at the break.

Despite enjoying territorial advantage for most of the second half, the BlitzBoks could only cross the Irish tryline when Dewald Human scored with less than a minute to go.

Ireland controlled the restart and booted the ball into touch to claim top spot in Pool A.

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Source: SA Rugby 

 

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