Improved Blitzboks finish strong in Spain to claim sixth

Improved Blitzboks finish strong in Spain to claim sixth

The Springbok Sevens finished the HSBC SVNS Madrid in sixth position after they beat Australia in their first game on Sunday.

However, they came up short against Ireland to finish the Spain tournament with a defeat.

After losing their three pool matches - against Ireland, New Zealand and Fiji - the Blitzboks delivered their best performance of the weekend in the fifth-place semi-final against Australia on Sunday morning, winning by 24-21.

However, they could not replicate that in the fifth-place playoff against the Irish, who won a close contest by 12-7.

Against Australia, the Blitzboks showed some great resilience to clinch their first victory of the weekend.

The Aussies opened the scoring with a try by Matthew Gonzalez, but two tries in quick succession by Rosko Specman, after Tristan Leyds hit a gap, and an intercept five-pointer from the restart by Ryan Oosthuizen, gave the Blitzboks at 12-7 lead at the break.

Ben Dowling's try put Australia back in the lead, but then Quewin Nortje underlined his promise with a superb solo-try as he hacked the ball ahead and outpaced the defence to score under the sticks.

Siviwe Soyizwapi scored the Blitzboks' fourth try to make it 24-14 with time running out, and although the Aussies clawed one back at the death, by James Turner, it was too little, too late.

Ireland controlled possession and set up camp in the Blitzboks' half in the first half of their playoff match, and took at 12-0 lead into the break.

Zac Ward scored Ireland's first try in the opening after he bust a Blitzbok tackle, and Harry McNulty's try then made it 12-0.

The Blitzboks made a step up after the break, and with their first scoring opportunity two minutes in, Siviwe Soyizwapi lost the ball over the tryline.

Impi Visser finally gave the Blitzboks some hope with a try that started in their own 22 with less than two minutes to go, but that was it for the South Africans as Ireland won a late penalty and played out time to seal the win.


South Africa 24 (12) Australia 21 (7)

SA - Tries: Rosko Specman, Ryan Oosthuizen, Quewin Nortje, Siviwe Soyizwapi. Conversions: Tristan Leyds (2).

Australia - Tries: Matthew Gonzalez, Ben Dowling, James Turner. Conversions: Dietrich Roache (3).

South Africa 7 (0) Ireland 12 (12)

SA - Try: Impi Visser. Conversion: Selvyn Davids.

Ireland - Tries: Zac Ward, Harry McNulty. Conversion: Hugo Lennox.

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