The Blitzboks suffered a heavy 29-0 defeat to Australia in the Cup final of the Sydney Sevens on Sunday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Having cruised through to the Sydney final over a weekend that saw top sides such as Fiji, New Zealand and England all fall by the wayside, the Springbok Sevens failed to take advantage as they fell victim to an inspired Australian side.
The Blitzboks had lost captain Philip Snyman to an apparent injury before the final, and perhaps this disrupted the reigning champs, who looked completely out of sorts in the final.
Early on, the Blitzboks would have been frustrated by their inaccuracy at scrum time, with two of their feeds failing to provide a platform for attack.
After five minutes of scoreless action, Blitzboks star Rosko Specman was then denied a try by the narrowest of margins as he grounded the ball in the corner just as his foot simultaneously went into touch.
Instead it would be Australia who struck a crucial blow just before the break when Lewis Holland bumped his way through an attempted tackle to score under the posts and send the home fans into delirious celebrations.
It was revealing that the Blitzboks had been forced to make more than 25 tackles in a first half where they were deprived of possession, and with the final play of the half, James Stannard sent the hosts into a commanding lead as he burst away to score.
The result was then effectively sealed when Stannard created a try finished by John Porch, while Ben O’Donnell dotted down soon after as the home team extended their advantage to 24 points.
Australia continued to pile on the punishment as O’Donnell completed his brace late in the game to leave the Blitzboks well and truly humbled in Sydney.
However, the one silver lining for the Blitzboks is the fact that despite their runner-up finish in Australia, they will return to the summit of the series standings.
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