Blitzboks clinch fifth place in Perth

Blitzboks clinch fifth place in Perth

The Springbok Sevens 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 morning doesn™t make up for the 14-12 defeat to Fiji in the quarter-final 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 - if you are only one percent off your game, your opponent gets a chance to beat you," said Ngcobo.

"Against Fiji, that is exactly what happened. It was a tight one and we did not get the bounce of the ball, but instead of letting our heads down, the guys bounced back today. There was a lot of pride in that performance against France."

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 70m 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 winger 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 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 count 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."


South Africa 24 (12) - Tries: Shilton van Wyk, Tristan Leyds, Selvyn Davids, Donovan Don. Conversions: Ricardo Duarttee, Leyds.

France 5 (0) - Esteban Capila.

READ MORE: Small steps forward pleasing weekend for Bok Women's 7s