The Blitzboks beat France 21-14 in the Cup semi-final on Sunday to qualify for the Cape Town Sevens decider. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The result sees the Blitzboks advancing to the Cup final this evening. South Africa haven’t won the Cape Town leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series since 2015. They will face New Zealand, who beat Fiji 24-7 in the second semi-final.
The Blitzboks have made a habit out of starting poorly at this tournament. In the semi-final, they were forced to fight back after conceding an early try to France. Their breakdown accuracy and discipline let them down during that period.
Fortunately, the Blitzboks have also made a habit out out of finishing strongly and striking toward the end of a stanza. Ruhan Nel scored shortly before half-time to help his side equalise.
A packed house at Cape Town Stadium erupted when JC Pretorius dummied and then ran some 40m to score the Blitzboks’ second try. Like Nel, Pretorius has been one of the standouts at this tournament and should be one of the key players in the decider.
The hosts saved the best for last when skipper Shakes Soyizwapi received the ball in space and then danced round the final defender. At 21-7, the contest was over and the Boks had booked their place in the final. Out in the stands, the crowd celebrated by singing ‘Ole, ole, ole’.
Dylan Sage received a yellow card for cynical play after the hooter, and France managed to claim a consolation try at the death.
The Blitzboks will be looking to clinch their second tournament title in as many weeks – after claiming the Dubai crown last Sunday – and to end a monumental South African rugby season on a high.