The Blitzboks suffered a 22-5 defeat to England in the Cup quarter-finals of the Dubai Sevens on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
After two years of Blitzboks’ dominance at the opening event of the World Rugby Sevens Series, a new team will be crowned Dubai Sevens champions.
The Blitzboks had won their two opening games on day one, against Zimbabwe and Samoa, before losing their final pool game against Argentina. They were far from their best and that trend continued against England.
Ultimately, the Blitzboks lost this quarter-final in the opening stanza when England ran in three unanswered tries to go with their suffocating defence and strong breakdown work. England’s cause was aided by an uncharacteristically poor performance by the Blitzboks, who lacked their usual accuracy and discipline.
England enjoyed a perfect start when they pounced on a basic lineout error from South Africa which allowed captain Tom Mitchell to score.
The Blitzboks had a golden opportunity to hit back, but an excellent cover tackle forced a knock-on from Ryan Oosthuizen on the tryline.
By contrast, England used all their scoring chances and Mitchell dotted down again when they went the length of the field after a turnover at the breakdown.
And they weren’t done yet as Tom Bowen pierced the Blitzboks’ defence again for a third try to put England 17-0 up at the break.
There was to be no comeback for South Africa, despite a series of substitutions. With the Blitzboks trying to run the ball out of their half, a wild pass was intercepted by Phil Burgess as England’s lead was stretched to 22.
Selvyn Davids would dot down for the Blitzboks, but his effort was a mere consolation.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) December 1, 2018