Blitzboks Surge Into Birmingham Semi-finals


The Springbok Sevens were in firm control of their Commonwealth Games quarter-final on Saturday evening as they beat Canada by 33-0 to advance into the top-four, where they will meet Australia at 14h04 on Sunday afternoon at the Coventry Stadium in Birmingham.

They will be without Siviwe Soyizwapi though, as the SA captain’s tournament was cut short after he was injured against Scotland earlier on Saturday – a match the Blitzboks won by 34-0.

Zain Davids, who took over the captaincy in the quarter-final from Soyizwapi, said: “We will always be happy with a victory, especially as we stuck to our processes, defended well and we also did our basics well, so I think we can be happy.

“Losing ‘Shakes’ is not great – he is a proper leader who leads from the front and never gives up, the players really look up to him and we realise we have big shoes to fill, but we will try and do that for Siviwe.”

On their semi-final opponent, Australia – who beat Samoa by 7-0 in their quarter-final – Davids said they will approach it as any other game: “It doesn’t matter who we play, for us it’s ‘game five on day three’ and our focus will be on sticking to our processes and getting our basics right.”

Against Canada on Saturday evening, three first-half tries – by Ronald Brown, Christie Grobbelaar and Angelo Davids – set up a 21-0 lead at the break, with Angelo Davids's intercept-try from 80m out – while Brown was in the sin-bin for a high tackle – summing up the SA team’s dominance.

The Canadians tried hard, but defensive pressure from SA saw them make a number of unforced errors, which the Blitzboks pounced on with gratitude.

Brown got his second try not long after returning to the field shortly after the break, scoring from a Canadian mistake to stretch the lead to 26-0.

Mfundo Ndhlovu, who was declared fit after taking a heavy knock on the first day, also got his name on the score sheet with just over a minute left in the game.

The first semi-final in the men’s competition kicks off at 13h42, with defending champions New Zealand taking on Fiji.

South Africa 33 (21) – Tries: Ronald Brown (2), Christie Grobbelaar, Angelo Davids, Mfundo Ndhlovu. Conversions: Brown (2), Selvyn Davids (2).

Angelo Davids scored second-half hat-trick – his second of the tournament – as the Springbok Sevens team recorded a splendid 34-0 victory over Scotland to claim first place in Pool B on Saturday afternoon.

The South Africans went into the halftime break leading by 10-0, having scored the only points of the first half through Selvyn Davids and JC Pretorius. However, they moved into a higher attacking gear after the break to score four more tries – three via Angelo Davids and a fourth by Shaun Davids – to race away in impressive fashion.

With both teams vying for top spot in Pool B, the opening half was understandably a tough arm wrestle, with neither wanting to give possession away.

The SA team worked their way into the danger zone and Selvyn Davids did just enough to get over the line despite the attention of a desperate tackler. He was followed over the line by Pretorius, who reacted quickly to snap up a loose ball from a clever kick ahead before diving over.

South Africa used their kicking game to good effect in the second half, enabling strong-running Angelo Davids to dot down three times in succession to take the score to 27-0.

With playmaker Selvyn Davids again in great form and pulling all the strings, the fleet-footed attacker sent Shawn Williams over for the final score and to seal a splendid victory which saw them finishing top of their group.

South Africa 34 (10) – Tries: Selvyn Davids, JC Pretorius, Angelo Davids (3), Shaun Williams. Conversions: Selvyn Davids, Dewald Human.