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BlitzBokke target World Cup

Mon, 01 Apr 2013 07:01
Cecil-africa-sa-7s Blitzbokke-win-tokyo630 Frankie-horne-sa-7s-v-nz Fiji-v-sa-tokyo-7s Seabelo-senatla-sa-7s
It is not every day you beat NZ twice in Cup Finals
Quote-end

South African coach Paul Treu said they are looking to build on their Tokyo win as they look towards the Sevens World Cup in Moscow in June.

South Africa won the Tokyo leg of the IRB Sevens World Series on Sunday, when they beat New Zealand 24-19 in the Cup Final.

It was a repeat of the Final at the United States leg back in February.

The result moved the BlitzBokke onto 100 World Series points and up to second spot on the log, 32 behind New Zealand and two ahead of Fiji.

The BlitzBokke and Fiji are now the only teams to have won two tournaments so far this season.

It was a remarkable Cup success for the South Africans, who lost their first pool match on Saturday against Hong Kong champions Fiji.

They shrugged off that setback and managed to battle their way through to the knockout stages.

Paul Treu, the BlitzBokke coach, described the win in the Final win as amazing.

"It is not every day you manage to beat New Zealand twice in Cup finals," the SA mentor said.

"We just wanted to get our fastest team out there [in the Final] and it worked.

"I'm also pleased for [playmaker] Cecil Afrika - to come back from injury and to play like that is special.

"We are still missing [regular captain] Kyle [Brown] because of injury.

"To be consistent like New Zealand you need your key players fit.

"I hope this will give us good momentum going into the [Sevens] World Cup," Treu added.

Both sides scored three tries in the final, but the Blitzbokke also got a penalty goal in the second half - by Branco du Preez, who converted all three tries, to keep the gap open on the New Zealanders.

Impressive young speedster Seabelo Senatla, experienced playmaker Afrika and wing Cornal Hendricks dotted down for the South Africans in the final.

They fought back from 0-12 down at the break, which made the victory even more impressive. New Zealand got their third try right at the end of the match.

Earlier on Sunday, the team beat Samoa 19-12 in the quarterfinals after they were also forced to fight their way back from 0-12 down. Substitute Senatla raced away to score in the corner while Du Preez added a magnificent conversion from the side to clinch a hard-fought win.

France made the Blitzbokke work hard for their 14-12 win in their semifinal. Hendricks and Senatla scored converted tries to book their side a deserved final showdown with New Zealand.

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