Blitzboks bounce back to vanquish Aussies in Vancouver | TeamSA - TeamSA

Blitzboks bounce back to vanquish Aussies in Vancouver


By Mark Etheridge

The Blitzboks barged their way into the semi-finals of the HSBC Vancouver Sevens in Canada on Sunday night with a comeback of note.

Taking on Australia in the first cup quarter-final match, they were seemingly dead and buried early on before a 24-19 extra time win.

The Aussies came out firing on all cylinders in the first half with Ben O’Donnell barging over inside two minutes after not being held in the tackle.

Blitzbok playmaker Cecil Afrika was then yellow-carded and Australia took full advantage as they looked to outmuscle the South Africans in the tackle and turnover situations.

First it was Lachie Anderson and then John Porch who went over with referee Richard Kelly not looking to do the Blitzboks any favours. By the time the halftime whistle blew it was 19-0 to the men from Down Under, the same nation who will host next month’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Blitzbok coach Neil Powell worked his magic at halftime though and it was Siviwe Soyizapi who scored the first points for South Africa two and half minutes into the half.

The man called ‘Shakes’ then doubled up and a Branco du Preez conversion suddenly had the Blitzboks just seven points adrift.

There was still work to be done though as Afrika made up for his yellow-carding buy capitalising on a charge-down by Du Preez to suddenly square things up.

That sent things into extra time with things locked up at 19-19.

And it was two minutes and 18 seconds into extra time when big Dylan Sage finally put the Blitzboks through to a cup semi-final against Fiji early on Monday morning (SA time, just past midnight).

Picture of the Blitzboks’ Kyle Brown taking a line-out ball courtesy of Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images