'Victory' for BlitzBoks in Aussie defeat

Sun, 28 Jan 2018 10:23
Large aus v sa sydney 7s 800

SEVENS WORLD SERIES ROUND THREE WRAP: Australian managed to claim gold by whitewashing South Africa in Sydney on Sunday.

However, despite the humiliating 0-29 loss, the BlitzBok can claim a victory - their second-place finish seeing the defending World Series champions overtake New Zealander at the top of the 2017/18 standings.

The five-tries-to-nil victory saw the Aussies move into third place - behind South Africa (58 points after three rounds) and New Zealand (54).

The Aussies have 43 points, followed by Argentina (41) and Fiji (40).

The Australians were in sublime form as they ran in five unanswered tries against the more favoured South Africans.

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, Australia's win was also their first on home soil in 16 years, their last success coming at Ballymore in Brisbane in 2002.

"The boys backed up from game one to game six and we developed and we grew," Australian captain Lewis Holland said.

"It wasn't the prettiest at the start but it's how you finish, and I think putting in a good score on South Africa proves that... when we put it together we're pretty unstoppable."

We look at all the finals on Day Three!

Cup Final - Australia v South Africa

Early South African pressure forced an Australian mistake from the kick-off, but the hosts quickly won a penalty at the tackle.

The BlitzBoks' defence held firm for a couple of minutes, before they forced another mistake. Again the Aussies won a turnover, this time a heel against the head at a scrum.

The BlitzBoks won a turnover deep in their half and went almost the length of the field, where Rosko Specman had a try denied by the TMO - foot in touch a metre out.

Another turnover saw the Aussies go 50 metres for Lewis Holland to exploit lacklustre defence by the BlitzBoks.

From the restart, the Aussies won the ball back and the tired-looking SA defence was exposed by James Stannard - making it 14-0 at the break.

The BlitzBoks looked to break out from their 22 early in the second half, but Werner Kok lost control of the ball.

Soon after John Porch benefited from a sublime Stannard grubber, stretching the lead 19-0.

The BlitzBoks continued to give away penalties, as they started playing individually and did not have the support at the breakdown. Terence Benjamin O'Donnell made them pay with a fourth try for the hosts - 24-0.

Cecil Afrika, who was having an absolute nightmare with one mistake after another, managed to only palm the ball over his own goalline. And he was made to pay for his horror show, as O'Donnell eased past Seabelo Senatla for the fifth try - 29-0.

It ended in further humiliation for the BlitzBoks as the Aussies ganged up on defence against a South African team now clearly seeking individual glory instead of looking for teammates - the Aussies sealing the whitewash.

Third-place play-off - United States 10-31 Argentina

It was a nervous start by both the United States and Argentina, with some enthusiastic defence contributing to a scoreless opening stanza. Franco Sabato eventually broke the deadlock almost four minutes into the match - courtesy of a stray pass by Folau Niua.

Lautaro Bazan Velez broke down the blind and slipped a couple of weak tackles to stretch the South Americans' lead.

Martin Iosefo eventually got the Yanks on the board, and back into the game, right on the half-time hooter - 12-5 at the break.

However, Los Pumas quickly stamped their authority on the game in the second half, Conrado Roura evading a couple of defenders to make it 19-5.

A turnover deep inside American territory allowed Franco Sabato to stretch the lead even further - 26-5.

Maximiliano Filizzola rubbed salt into the American wounds, following yet another sloppy turnover conceded by the Yanks.

There was time for a consolation score by Ben Pinkleman - 31-10 at full-time.

Fifth-place - Fiji 7-31 New Zealand

New Zealand made a blistering start, Caleb Clarke sprinting down the left touchline and cutting back inside for the opening score.

The next try, by Sione Langi Joseph Molia, came from a crossfield kick by Vilimoni Koroi.

Vilimoni Koroi went from creator to scorer, as the Fijian defence fell apart in the latter stages of the opening half. Regan Ware required confirmation from the TMO, but his try made it 26-0 at the break.

Tim Mikkelson exposed the Fijian defence early in the second half, as the rout started taking on ridiculous proportions for such a high-profile game.

Eroni Sau finally got Fiji on the board in the 10th minute, after they showed some of their famed skills. With the Kiwis now having taken their collective feet off the pedal, Fiji pushed for another consolation score.

However, the Kiwis easily held them out - 31-7 to New Zealand.

Challenge Trophy - Wales 12-29 France

Tavite Turaganibuli Veredamu opened the scoring for France in the minor Final against Wales. Veredamu added a second a minute later and the French looked in imperious form.

Luke Morgan pulled one back for Wales midway through the half and Luke Treharne added a second right on the half-time hooter - with Veredamu yellow-carded for a high tackle.

It was 12-all at the break.

Wales were down to six men after Joseph Graham Jenkins was carded for cynically killing the ball near his tryline and Steeve Barry used the chance to put France back in the lead. The French exploited their superior numbers and Jean Baptiste Mazoue stretched the lead to 24-12.

That became 29-12 when Barry collected a brilliant offload in the tackle, which is how it stayed to the end.

Thirteenth place - Canada 14-12 Scotland

Harvey Elms opened the scoring for Scotland in the sixth minute, with Harry Jones putting Canada 7-5 up, right on the half-time hooter - with the Scots down to six players, after Jamie Farndale was yellow-carded.

Nathan Hirayama stretched the lead with sublime try halfway through the second half.

There was enough time for Max McFarland to score a late consolation try, but Canada won deservingly.



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