The Blitzboks suffered a 27-26 defeat to Scotland in the Cup final of the London Sevens on Sunday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Despite the disappointment for the Blitzboks, it was simply a night to remember for Scotland, who scored two tries in the final minute to complete a remarkable comeback and secure their first-ever Cup triumph.
With the Blitzboks leading 26-15, first Dougie Fife scored to give Scotland a brief glimpse of hope, and then with the final play of the game, he did it again with a second try that sent the Scots into wild celebrations.
The Blitzboks will lament their late lapse, and the fact that they have had to settle for a second-place finish in the series standings, and in London, but their performances at Twickenham – where they overcame rival Fiji in the semi-finals – still had its positives.
Neil Powell’s men had made the perfect start to the final when a well-timed Kyle Brown pass put Seabelo Senatla away for his 66th try of the series after just two minutes of play, but Scotland quickly hit back through Jamie Farndale. They then backed that up with another try you don’t often see in sevens rugby as Scott Wright went over at the back of a driving lineout.
It enabled the Scots to take a surprise 10-7 lead at the break, with the Blitzboks guilty of some ill-discipline and basic errors in the opening 10-minute period.
Finally the Blitzboks were able to string a few passes together and Rosco Speckman was importantly able to go over for the first try of the second half that put his side back into the lead. Moments later Cecil Afrika then scored a timely intercept try to suddenly hand South Africa an 11-point buffer.
That lead was cut to six points when James Fleming scored next for Scotland, but Speckman responded with his second try of the night to provide the Springbok Sevens some breathing room heading into the final two minutes of play.
It looked like the game was won, but moments of madness at the end enabled Scotland to come away with a historic win.
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