The Cape Town Sevens witnessed a shocking exit for the Blitzboks as Australia delivered a masterclass, securing a spot in the cup competition at the expense of the home team on Sunday morning.
Despite their earlier setback against Ireland in the final pool match on Saturday, the South Africans were unprepared for the clinical display by the Australians. The visitors capitalized on early Christmas gifts from the home side, taking advantage of a sin-bin penalty that sent youngster Quewin Nortje off the field. Although Australia didn’t score during Nortje’s absence, it appeared to have a toll on the Blitzboks, leaving them fatigued in the Cape Town heat.
The Aussies seized their opportunity and scored through Hayden Sargent in the fifth minute after a sustained period of possession and territory. A critical mistake by the Blitzboks, opting not to kick a penalty into touch right before halftime, allowed Australia to secure another try via Nathan Lawson, leading 14-0 at the break.
In the second half, the South Africans attempted to force the issue, resorting to risky passes, particularly from the younger players in the squad. The inexperience showed against the well-drilled Australian team, who capitalized on mistakes made in the South Africans’ 22. Australia added two more tries in the second half, leaving the Cape Town crowd stunned.
BlitzBok head coach, Sandile Ngcobo was disappointed by the defeat: “Possession was key, and we simply did not look well enough after ours,” said Ngcobo. “We were attacked at the breakdown, and we need to muscle up in that area, as we lost too many balls there.”
Meanwhile, in the other quarter-finals, Argentina dominated Canada with a 33-0 victory, Ireland upset New Zealand with a 36-21 win, and Fiji edged out France 29-24. The upcoming semi-finals will see Argentina facing Ireland, while Australia will square off against Fiji.
Main image: X @Blitzboks