South Africa shocks Fiji in Cape Town 7s

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By Morris Rawal

In their second game at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens on Saturday, the Springbok Sevens defeated Fiji with a commanding 17-7 victory thanks to an outstanding defensive effort.

After an early try against them, the squad fell behind once more, but they rallied and put on an outstanding effort, particularly in the second half, to bring the game home in front of a sizable home crowd.

Coach Sandile Ngcobo asked for a better defensive performance after day one of the tournament and his troops obliged in no uncertain terms to smother the Fijians and stop their chances of scoring.

To the dismay of the home crowd, Fiji’s Joseva Talacolo sprinted through to open the scoring after a frantic first period of play and successfully recovered a lost ball.

The Blitzboks, on the other hand, increased the ante and took charge of the match at that point, forcing phase after phase as they moved the Fijians across the field.

In the end, try-machine Shilton van Wyk received the ball, advanced with it as he had the previous evening against Canada, and then used his pace to escape the defense and score the first try for the home team.

A minute later, Muller du Plessis, who is competing in his final competition before joining the Sharks, joined him onto the scoreboard.

The Blitzboks gained confidence with every tackle, despite Fiji’s best efforts in the second half, and soon they were winning not only the physical fights but also forcing errors from the Fijians.

Finally, a mistake allowed JC Pretorius to score with a powerful leg drive that carried him past two defenders and across the goal line.

The Blitzboks will now play France in their last pool matchup, with the tournament’s second day’s championship match taking place later that evening.

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