South Africa finish fifth in Perth


The South African national rugby sevens team, commonly known as the Blitzboks, clinched a fifth-place finish at the third leg of the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Series held in Perth, Australia.

The highlight of their campaign was a commanding 24-5 victory over France in the fifth-place playoffs, leaving fans and officials alike with smiles on their faces.

The Blitzboks faced adversity earlier in the tournament when they suffered a narrow 14-12 defeat against Fiji in the quarter-finals.

The disappointment from that loss was palpable, underscoring the fine margins in the intensely competitive Sevens Series.

Head coach Sandile Ngcobo acknowledged the realities of the series, emphasizing the importance of avoiding the smallest lapse in performance that could be capitalized upon by opponents.

Undeterred by the setback, the Blitzboks rallied on the final day of the tournament, displaying character and hunger for success.

Despite missing key players Quewin Nortje and Ronald Brown due to injuries, the team showcased a collective commitment to excellence.

Shilton van Wyk set the tone with an opportunistic intercept and a remarkable 70-meter run for the opening try, highlighting individual brilliance.

Tristan Leyds and Selvyn Davids added to the lead with well-constructed tries, while Donovan Don finished off a dynamic move, securing a 24-0 lead.

Coach Sandile Ngcobo praised the team’s hunger, courage, and execution of the game plan, emphasizing the importance of bouncing back after setbacks.

Ryan Oosthuizen, the most experienced player for the Blitzboks in Perth, acknowledged the disappointment of missing the semi-finals but commended the overall performance of the team.

Looking ahead, the Blitzboks are determined to build on their success, with their sights set on the upcoming tournaments in Vancouver and Los Angeles.

Recognizing the significance of every opportunity to improve and compete at the highest level, the team remains focused on making strides in the fast-paced world of Rugby Sevens.

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