Blitzboks claim disappointing bronze

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The Springbok Sevens team claimed third place and the bronze medal at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, played at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sunday.

The Blitzboks secured a 24-19 win over Fiji to claim a second medal in two months and cap off another stellar season.

The team won the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in June for a second consecutive year and added bronze to their medal tally. The team finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games – their lowest placing in a major sporting event for the season.

Solid performances against Ireland and Scotland on Friday and Saturday respectively, counted for very little as they were outplayed by England in the semifinals of the tournament, losing 29-7 early on Sunday (SA time).

The team bounced back against Fiji later in the same afternoon, and played some brilliant rugby to end the season with a commanding performance.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, said the team were happy with the medal, although not the colour.

“What is most pleasing for me is the fact that, after that disappointment against England, we came out firing against Fiji and outplayed them to finish the season on a very strong performance.

“We have lost against them six times during the World Series, so to be able to beat them here was a huge effort from the players. We will never be happy with anything but first place, but the bronze medal does help to justify the efforts and sacrifices a little bit.”

Powell congratulated New Zealand on winning the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.

“They clearly know how to pitch for once-off tournaments, as they also won the Commonwealth Games gold, so well done to them. It was a great effort from them.”

The Blitzboks arrive back in South Africa on Wednesday.

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