The Springbok Sevens showed great courage and determination to fight back from 5-14 down to beat England 17-14 earlier today and claim the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Bernado Botha gave South Africa an explosive start when he scored within the first minute, but England hit back with converted tries from Matthew Turner and Dan Caprice to go into the break 14-5 up.
The half-time talk by their coach Paul Treu appeared to have done the trick, because South Africa played much better after halftime. Cecil Afrika scored and converted his own try after a period of sustained pressure to cut the English lead to just two points.
Lubabalo Mtembu then scored the match-winning try with just one minute remaining on the clock when he stormed over in the corner despite the staunch English resistance.
New Zealand won a fourth consecutive gold medal after they beat Australia 24-17 in a thrilling final. South Africa lost 17-7 to Australia in their semi-final after they got the better of Scotland (10-7) in the quarter-finals.
Treu praises fighting spirit
Treu was full of praise for the fighting spirit his new-look team displayed against England.
“They responded splendidly to the challenge and I am delighted for the lads. It was a tough ask of the guys after the disappointment of losing to Australia in the semi-final, but they showed real mental strength to come back from 14-5 down to shut out the game against a very good English team.”
SA Sevens captain, Paul Delport, attributed the win thanks to a very good team effort: “Commonwealth Games comes around once every four years and it is such a special occasion for any player to be part of this event. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and played some good rugby at times, but we must keep on developing as a team so that we can be a force again in the World Series.”
Semi-final against Australia
Australia dominated possession against the Springbok Sevens after Ryno Benjamin gave his side the lead with a try under the posts. The Aussies stormed back with tries from Lachlan Turner and Liam Gill to lead 10-7 at halftime, before James Stannard secured the victory in the second half with a converted try.
Scorers: South Africa 7 (7): Try: Ryno Benjamin; Conversion: Cecil Afrika; Australia 17 (10): Tries: Lachlan Turner, Liam Gill, James Stannard; Conversion: Stannard.
Victory over Scotland
South Africa scored a hard-fought 10-7 victory over Scotland to set up a clash with Australia after the Scots had led 7-5 at halftime. Delport and Benjamin crossed the line for the Springboks Sevens in response to spectacular try from Mike Adamson.
Scorers: South Africa 10 (5): Tries: Paul Delport, Ryno Benjamin; Conversion: Cecil Afrika. Scotland 7 (7): Try: Mike Adamson, Conversion: Adamson.
Issued by SARU CommunicationsTweet