The Blitzboks overturned a 19-point deficit to beat Fiji 20-19 in the Cup final of the Singapore Sevens on Sunday. DYLAN JACK reports.
It was a morale-boosting victory for Neil Powell’s team, whose youngsters stood up when they needed them most.
While it looked like Fiji were cruising to victory, having opened up a 19-0 half-time lead, the Blitzboks scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to claim a memorable win.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) April 14, 2019
The Blitzboks struggled in the face of a physical Fijian defence in the first half, which enabled the defending Singapore champions to dominate at the breakdown and force the South Africans backwards.
The Fijians started strongly, taking just two minutes to open the scoring when Aminasi Tuimamba burst through a gap and sprinted clear for a converted try. Their lead was extended a couple of minutes later when Napolioni Bolaca spun out of a tackle and had enough pace to score in the corner.
Fiji got their third try just before the break as they won a 5m scrum from which Vilimoni Botitu showed his strength to power over the line, leaving the Blitzboks with a mountain to climb in the second half.
The Blitzboks looked to have wasted their best chance of the game, at the start of the second half, when Angelo Davids was released out wide and looked like he might have the pace to go through but lost the ball forward.
However, moments later Justin Geduld won a turnover penalty from which youngster Kurt-Lee Arendse was able to break through and score.
The Blitzboks then got a major boost as Geduld found Angelo Davids with a cross-kick, which allowed him to score their second, with the Fijians receiving a yellow card for a late tackle on Davids.
Ryan Oosthuizen then finished off after Werner Kok won a turnover to bring the South Africans within two points with just two minutes to go.
Selvyn Davids’ drop-goal penalty put the Blitzboks into the lead for the first time in the game, before sweeping up as Fiji threatened in stoppage time.