BlitzBokke pure Gold
BlitzBokke pure GoldSHARE
South Africa ended New Zealand's amazing run in the Final of the Sevens at the Commonwealth Games, winning 17-12 at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on Sunday.
SA, after twice winning bronze at previous Commonwealth Games, improved to Gold in a tense and thrilling Final.
It ended a run of four consecutive Games gold medals by the Kiwis.
They did so despite losing inspirational captain Kyle Brown to a shoulder injury early in the match.
The BlitzBokke outscored the Kiwis by three tries to two in a game that had it all – skill, brutal power, solid defence and pure pace.
In the end the South Africans held their nerve when it mattered most – coming from 0-7 behind to draw level at 7-all (at the half-time beak) and then race 10-points clear (17-7), before holding on in the face of a late Kiwi rally.
* The defending Commonwealth Games champions, New Zealand, had booked their place in the gold medal Final after a 19-7 win over Tasman neighbours Australia with Scott Curry scoring two decisive second-half tries.
In stark contrast the BlitzBokke withstood some overly aggressive and at times spiteful tactics by Samoa before racing clear.
* Earlier New Zealand advanced to take on Australia in the first semifinal, after they won their respective semifinals – with Samoa and South Africa having progressed to the semifinals on the other side of the draw.
Captain DJ Forbes inspired New Zealand to a tough 19-7 win against Kenya and the defending champions will face Australia after they came back from 19-0 down to beat Wales in a thriller, Pama Fou with the clincher after the final hooter.
The Samoans made it three from three for the nations from Oceania, beating England 15-14 in a bruising encounter, before the BlitzBokke put more pace on the game to see off the passionate challenge of hosts Scotland 35-12.
In two years time Sevens will take its place at the Olympic Games in Rio and the sell-out crowds and festival atmosphere around the rugby competition bodes well.
Final – Gold Medal match
South Africa came from behind to beat New Zealand 17-12 and claim their first Commonwealth Games Gold medal.
The Final started on disappointing note for the BlitzBokke, as captain Kyle Brown injured his shoulder in the early exchanges, forcing him to leave he field.
It didn't take the Kiwis long to expose the SA defence – Sherwin Stowers running it in after some hard work by Ben Lam and DJ Forbes.
Bryce Heem was then yellow-carded for kicking the ball away, but the SA handling remained very poor – coughing up the ball repeatedly.
However, a quick tap from Branco du Preez put Seabelo Senatla over to level the scores up at 7-all going into the half-time break.
The second half started with Senatla showing his blistering pace to beat the Kiwi defence out wide and put the BlitzBokke in the lead for he first time.
Both teams now went to the replacement bench for fresh legs, but it was Cecil Afrika who collected a stray Kiwi pass to sprint 60 metres for a crucial try.
Joe Webber got New Zealand back into the contest with a great try two minutes from time, but credit must go to DJ Forbes for the work he did in the build-up.
Again it was sloppy handling by the BlitzBokke that gifted the Kiwis a chance of a late match winner, but a handling error handed the ball back to SA.
Result: New Zealand 12-17 South Africa
Bronze Medal match
Australia produced a clinical second-half display to shut Samoa out and claim bronze in Glasgow.
After a scrappy start, in which both teams struggled with handling and discipline, Greg Jeloudev used his pace and power to eventually get the first points – with less than 30 seconds left on the first-half clock. He got a second soon afterwards, with Samoa a man down, through injury.
After the break Australia were far more clinical, Liam Gill putting them up 17-0 with a power-play, before Sam Myers ended the game as a contest with the fourth try.
Result: Australia 24-0 Samoa
In the second-tier Plate competition England, without injured skipper Tom Mitchell, beat Wales 17-15 with stand-in captain Phil Burgess scoring the winning try after the buzzer had sounded.
Result: Wales 15-17 England
Canada recorded victory in the Bowl Final with a 50-7 win against the Cook Islands including a hat-trick from Sean White.
Result: Canada 50-7 Cook Islands
Sri Lanka proved too good in the final, beating Trinidad & Tobago 43-7 with captain Fazil Marija scoring 16 of their points.
Result: Trinidad & Tobago 7-43 Sri Lanka
Cup semifinals (medal competition):
New Zealand advanced to the Final, and kept alive their chance of a fifth-consecutive gold medal with a hard-earned 19-7 win over Australia in the first semifinal.
Tim Mikkelson required less than a minute to open the scoring for the Kiwis, another well-worked team try. The Aussies, apart from being on the wrong end of the referee's whistle, also wasted chances with sloppy handling. However, 30 seconds before the break Sean McMahon benefited from a rare lapse in the Kiwi defence to level it up at 7-all at half-time.
After the break the Aussies slowed the game right down, setting up a number of set-pieces. However, it was Mikkelson that turned creator, after a steady build-up from deep inside the Kiwi half, with Scott Curry the try-scorer. Currie got the try that sealed the deal inside he final 30 seconds, a score that had its origins in a powerful counter-ruck.
They will meet South African n the Final, after the BlizBokke demolished an ill-disciplined Samoa 35-7.
South Africa were made to pay for a sloppy line-out at the Samoan 22, when Samoa Toloa went over early. However, the Samoan were made to pay for a lack of discipline – with a couple of cheat, high shots affording the BlitzBokke an attacking line-out. Cornal Hendricks got the five-pointer after some great interplay. Almost from the restart Afa Aiono was sent to the sin bin – being rather lucky to get only yellow, rather than red, for kicking a South African player. Lio Lolo followed his teammate to the big soon afterwards, as the off-the-ball stuff continued. Hendricks worked his way over from a tap-'n-go as the BlizBokke took a 14-7 lead into the break.
The South Africans were in their sublime best straight from the restart – Hendricks showing why he is a Springbok in the 15-man code, making his way up to the halfway line from his 22, before some great interplay with Frankie Horn and eventually the ball going wide when Chris Dry strolled over. Kyle Brown set up the next try with a great turnover at the tackle, Cecil Afrika getting the five-pointer after more interplay. Werner Kok got the next try, after some neat footwork by Justin Geduld – that would have made the Ibrox Stadium regular think they were watching Rangers rather that rugby football. It allowed the score to blow out to 35-7 in he end.
New Zealand 19-7 Australia
Samoa 7-35 South Africa
In the second-tier plate, contested by the losing medal quarterfinalists, Wales will face England, without injured skipper Tom Mitchell in the Final – having defeated Kenya 28-5 in their semifinal, with Lee Williams scoring two of their four tries.
Simon Amor's England narrowly held on to beat Scotland 15-12 having led 15-0
Kenya 5-28 Wales
England 15-12 Scotland
Disappointed to finish with two losses on day one, Canada are through to the Bowl final with a 32-0 win against Uganda with Mick Scholz scoring two tries in their semifinal.
They will play the Cook Islands in the Final after Chad Tuoro's side won 24-12 against Papua New Guinea including a scintillating solo try from James Raea, his sixth of the Games.
Canada 32-0 Uganda
Papua New Guinea 12-24 Cook Islands
In the shield, contested by the losing Bowl quarter finalists, Trinidad & Tobago are through to the final after beating crowd-pleasers Malaysia 15-10. They will play Sri Lanka after they overcame Barbados 34-0 in the final match of the third session.
Trinidad&Tobago 15-10 Malaysia
Sri Lanka 34-0 Barbados
Cup quarterfinals (medal section):
The defending champions were not flawless, but still good enough to stay alive with a 19-7 win over Kenya. Ben Lam used his power to go over for the opening try, but there was plenty of hard work by his teammates in the build-up. Tim Mikkelson, from a quick tap, scored the only other first-half try as the Kiwis took a 12-0 lead into the break. Seconds into the second half and Andrew Amonde was over for Kenya's first try, as the Africans worked their way back into the game. However, Lam calmed Kiwi nerves with his second try, after another great team build-up – the defending champions leading 19-7 with just over a minute remaining – which is how it stayed to the end.
Australia qualified to meet New Zealand in he first semifinal, after the edge Wales 21-19 in a thrilling showdown at the Ibrox Stadium. Lee Williams opened the scoring for Wales, a try that had its origins inside the Welsh 22. Williams scored a second soon afterwards, but this one started only 60 metres out – as the Aussies struggled o deal with the sublime inter-passing of the Welsh. Luke Morgan scored the third try for the men in red, after the Welsh won a turnover from the restart and Morgan beat his marked with pure pace on the outside. Ed Jenkins pulled one back for the Aussies right on the half-time hooter, making it 19-7 at the break. The crucial first score after the break came from Sean McMahon, as the Aussies finally cracked the resilient Welsh defence more than three minutes into the second half. Wales butchered a try with a minute left on the clock, and the Aussie then worked their way up to the other side of the field – with some assistance of the referee – where Pama Fou got the try that tied up the scores, with Cameron Clark landing the match-winning conversion.
Samoa upstaged England in a one-point thriller. Marcus Watson used his superior pace to get the opening try, after an intense opening spell, before James Rodwell was yellow-carded for tackling Samoa Toloa after he had already scored the try. The Samoans were also awarded a penalty for the restart, which saw Toloa go over for his and his team's second try – making it 10-7 to the Pacific Islanders at the break. Lolo Lui produced the best acrobatics seen anywhere at the games to get his team's third try and the first after the break – launching himself in spectacular fashion over the line and the corner flag. Dan Norton's score, that brought England back into the game (at 14-15), was perhaps not as spectacular, but certainly had plenty of skill – a great chip-'n-chase. Tom Powell then committed two silly errors – a knock-on and giving away a penalty – the allow Samoa to hang on for a famous win.
Scotland flattered, only to deceive – as South Africa had too much pace, class and power for the hosts in a game that had a spiteful ending which left a dark clod on the Scottish name. Cecil Afrika was the creator of the first try, a neat behind-the-tackler pass that sent Cornal Hendricks over. Branco du Preez then stepped his way past a few defenders for the second five-pointer, adding both conversions for a 14-0 lead. Seabelo Senatla got try No.3, with Hendricks the creator on this occasion. There was enough time for a late Scottish rally, Mark Bennett going over to make it 21-7 at the half-time break. When Lee Jones scored early in the second half, the game had a very different competition – that of a real contest. Senatla then used his blistering pace to give the BlitzBokke snore breathing space – 28-12. Afrika put the result beyond doubt when he scored SA's fifth try. Despite the referee's best efforts, Scotland failed to get a late consolation score – as the hosts showed their nasty underbelly in a comprehensive 35-12 win by the South Africans.
New Zealand 19-7 Kenya
Australia 21-19 Wales
Samoa 15-14 England
South Africa 35-12 Scotland
Disappointed to finish with two losses on day one, Canada are through to the Bowl semifinals with a 33-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago.
They now face Uganda after the African nation beat Malaysia 35-0.
Papua New Guinea beat Sri Lanka 17-12 in the other half of the draw and next face Cook Islands after they beat another Caribbean nation Barbados 31-7.
Canada 33-0 Trinidad & Tobago
Uganda 35-0 Malaysia
Papua N Guinea 17-12 Sri Lanka
Cook Islands 31-7 Barbados