Blitzboks return home with heads held high after fifth place finish at Perth Sevens

The Blitzboks finished their Perth Sevens campaign on a high note by beating France to finish the tournament in fifth place. Photo: @Blitzboks/X

The Blitzboks finished their Perth Sevens campaign on a high note by beating France to finish the tournament in fifth place. Photo: @Blitzboks/X

Published Jan 28, 2024


There was no silverware for the Blitzboks in Perth but they return home from the Australia leg of the World Sevens Series with their heads held high.

The South Africans finished their Perth campaign on a high note by outplaying France 24-5 to finish the tournament in fifth place.

To be fair to the Blitzboks, their 14-12 quarter-final defeat to Fiji could easily have been a victory on a luckier day.

Argentina won their second successive tournament to retain their place at the top of the standings, while the Blitzboks are now tied in fourth spot with Ireland, behind Australia and Fiji after three tournaments.

Springbok Sevens head coach Sandile Ngcobo said the performance against France yesterday (Sunday) morning doesn’t make up for the defeat to Fiji but the way the team concluded the tournament brought smiles to all.

“That result against Fiji just showed the realities of this series – if you are only one percent off your game, your opponent gets a chance to beat you,” said Ngcobo.

“That is exactly what happened. It was a tight one and we did not get the bounce of the ball, but instead of letting our heads down, the guys bounced back today. There was a lot of pride in that performance against France.”

The Blitzboks were without the injured Quewin Nortje and Ronald Brown in their match against France, but they were a bit hungrier than their opponents and played with a lot of enthusiasm.

Ryan Oosthuizen, the most experienced player for the Blitzboks in Perth, said they did not want to play for fifth place, but commended the team's performance.

“We came here to make semi-finals and better, so it was disappointing coming off second against Fiji in a game that could have gone either way,” said Oosthuizen.

“That said, we did well today. Every point counts in this format and we will bank those for fifth place. We will go back home and prepare well and then we are off to Vancouver and Los Angeles, so we are lucky to have another opportunity so soon.”

The Springbok Women's team also returns home reasonably satisfied, although they did not follow up their fine performances on Saturday.

The Bok Women recorded a first pool win on Saturday when they beat Great Britain 14-12 before a 12-5 victory over Spain set up a ninth-place playoff match against Brazil earlier yesterday. The South Americans won this game 7-0 after scoring the only try of the match late in the second half in a very tight encounter.

“The result against Brazil was not quite what we wanted as we dropped our standards from Saturday a bit, but looking back at the three days as a whole, we have certainly improved in many areas," coach Renfred Dazel said.

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