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Blitzboks beat Canada to bag bronze

The Blitzboks claimed a consolation third-place finish at the Cape Town Sevens after battling to a 19-17 win over Canada on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the third-place playoff was played out in front of a diminished crowd following the Blitzboks’ loss to New Zealand in the Cup semi-finals, but the home side provided the remaining faithful fans with at least one more victory to shout about, reports SA Rugby magazine’s Craig Lewis.

However, it was far from a convincing performance, and it rather aptly summed up a disappointing overall showing from a Blitzboks side that was decidedly out-of-sorts on the decisive final day of action.

The Springbok Sevens came into the bronze final without the services of injured duo Chris Dry and Werner Kok, but it was replacement player Siviwe Soyizwapi who would score the opening try when he latched onto a well-weighted cross-kick in the third minute.

Canada hit back when captain Harry Jones collected a grubber and dotted down, but the Blitzboks had the final say of the half when Ruhan Nel was put away for the simplest of tries.

To make matters worse for Canada, Liam Underwood was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle in the lead-up to the try, and in his absence Rosko Specman was put away for an easy try soon after the restart.

Jeral Skelton did score two tries for Canada after that to reduce the deficit to a mere two points, but the hosts ultimately held on for an unconvincing victory.

The remaining Cape Town crowd then threw their support behind Argentina in the Cup final, but it would be New Zealand who emerged as comfortable 38-14 winners.

Meanwhile, the Blitzboks will be playing England, Spain and a still to be determined side in Pool C of the Sydney Sevens.

The Australia leg of the Series will be played on 26-28 January next year and the Blitzboks will be defending their title.

 

Picture of Cecil Afrika in semi-final action for the Blitzboks against New Zealand, courtesy of Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images