Home Sport So close, yet so far for improved Blitzboks

So close, yet so far for improved Blitzboks

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The Blitzboks have until August and the last World Sevens Series event in Los Angeles to rue the golden chance they had in London to clinch the Sevens Series title.

The Blitzboks have until August and the last World Sevens Series event in Los Angeles to rue the golden chance they had in London to clinch the Sevens Series title
The Blitzboks have until August and the last World Sevens Series event in Los Angeles to rue the golden chance they had in London to clinch the Sevens Series title. Photo: @Blitzboks/Twitter

Durban — The Blitzboks have until August and the last World Sevens Series event in Los Angeles to rue the golden chance they had in London to clinch the Sevens Series title.

They eventually finished fifth but Neil Powell’s team was just over seven minutes from making the semi-finals when they were leading Australia 17-0 at half-time in their quarter-final at Twickenham but seven minutes later they had lost 21-17.

If they had hung on and won that game and then the semi-final, they would have been crowned Series champions no matter what happened in the final because the rankings system used for the 2022 season sees only the best seven results from each team count towards the final standings.

ALSO READ: Blitzboks beat Spain in fifth place semi-final at London Sevens

On Saturday, the Blitzboks had responded superbly to the criticism leveled at them following a run of poor performances to well beat Argentina, Ireland, and Kenya, but the disappointing loss to the Aussies meant the highest they could finish was fifth.

The Boks qualified for the fifth-place playoff by beating Spain to meet Ireland who are one of the up-and-coming teams in the Series and a side that has given the South Africans major problems in recent games.

It was as tough as expected, with neither side scoring in the first half and it was three minutes into the second when Impi Visser broke the deadlock with a well-taken try but two minutes later the Irish struck back. However, they the missed conversion attempt to leave the Boks leading by a slender two points at 7-5.

It didn’t matter though in the end because with the last move of the match, the Boks nailed it when Mfundo Ndhlovu scampered 50m for a try.

@MikeGreenaway67

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