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Completely outplayed in the final, but Blitzboks climb up the World Series log

OUTCLASSED: Australia players celebrate winning the final match between Australia and South Africa at the Sydney Sevens Rugby tournament yesterday. Picture: EPA/DavidMoir

Having looked ominously dangerous through the three days of the Sydney Sevens, South Africa fell short to the host team in the final as they went down 29-0 to Australia.

It was a game typified by missed tackles and poor defence, something that had been such a strong point for the Blitzboks the whole weekend.

With the first half almost devoid of possession, the Blitzboks had to back their defence, and while the structures were evident, individual missed tackles racked up. These misses came at crucial times, almost always resulting in an Australian try.

The first half belonged to the Australians as they had all of the ball. It did take a while for the scores to be broken, after Rosko Specman was judged to have put a foot in touch when going for a try, but it was the Australians that scored first.

With just a few seconds left in the first half, a missed tackle, one of the seven seen in the opening half, let the Australians in to get a seven-pointer.

Things went from bad to worse as, with time for a kick off, the Australians claimed their own ball and managed to get another score going into the break 14-0 to the good.

The second half did not begin well for the Blitzboks either. The missed tackles came back to haunt them as the Australians powered through the defensive line, using a grubber to finish off the third try of the match.

The fourth try came soon after with a penalty move on the blindside pretty much sealing the game for the home side. The Blitzboks really felt the pressure as the seemingly indestructible Boks fell apart as the match wore on.

To really put the icing on the cake, for the Australians that is, the home team grabbed another late try with another slipped tackle by the Blitzboks to make it 29-0.

The South Africans will still climb the log with their second-place finish in Sydney, especially seeing as their closest rivals, New Zealand, England and Fiji did not progress to the Cup semi-finals.

The next leg is in Hamilton in a week’s time.

Meanwhile, Speedster Seabelo Senatla was the only South African to be included in the Sydney Dream Team which was named at the end of yesterday’s tournament at Allianz Stadium.

Australia who saw off defending champions SA have three players in the Sydney Dream Team.

During the tournament Senatla extended his national try-scoring record to 211, and is also fourth on the all-time list. He is the leading try-scorer in the current series with 22 tries.

In other Sevens news, Cecil Afrika extended his national record as leading points’ scorer to 1 347 points and moved to fourth on the all-time world list in the process.

Justin Geduld was the leading points’ scorer at the tournament. He scored four tries and kicked 18 conversions.