Fiji overturned a 10-point deficit to claim a thrilling 12-10 semi-final win over the Blitzboks at the Singapore Sevens on Sunday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Again, there is heartbreak for the Blitzboks against Fiji. Despite a dominant start to this contest from the Springboks Sevens, a young team was ultimately unable to display the necessary composure to close out a game that was there for the taking.
The Blitzboks came into this semi-final clash holding just a three-point lead over Fiji in the overall World Rugby Sevens Series standings, with just two tournaments remaining after the Singapore event.
That state of affairs heightened the importance of the encounter, and so it would have settled the Blitzboks’ nerves when Werner Kok showed good strength to score within the opening two minutes.
Soon after, Fiji looked set to hit back with a try of their own, but Zain Davids produced a superb covering tackle to snuff out the attack. It was a clear sign that the Springbok Sevens were up for this encounter, and a couple of minutes before the break, Siviwe Soyizwapi dotted down for an important five-pointer.
It seemed the Blitzboks would take a 10-point lead into the break from there, but Cecil Afrika was then sent to the sin bin for cynically holding a player back without the ball. That provided Fiji with a much-needed opening, and with the final play of the half, Alasio Naduva went over in the corner.
At the start of the second period, the Blitzboks again had to absorb plenty of pressure, and while their defence initially held firm, Fiji finally found a way through when Eroni Sau powered over the tryline.
The successful conversion sent Fiji into a two-point lead heading into the final minute, and although the Islanders did have a man sent to the sin bin for a knockdown, they managed to hold on for victory.
It’s a result that will see Fiji move to the top of the series standings, while the Blitzboks will now hope to fight it out for a third-place finish.
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