By Lucky Vince Pienaar
Not only is it good news that the Blitzboks have made it into the finals of the Dubai sevens, the way they did it must bring a smile to the face of the biggest critic of South African sevens.
Is this a new Blitzbok side? It’s too early to say, but just maybe, the Blitzboks are back in the winner’s circle.
The first match of the finals was against Australia and South Africa hit the ground running. Not only did they score two tries within the first three minutes, they did it with imaginative flair and commitment.
Australia managed just one try as the Blitzboks scored four gems.
Blitzboks (4 tries) 24-7 (1 try) Australia
Tries Blitzboks: Quewin Nortje, Zain Davids, Rosko Specman, Ronald Brown
Tries Australia: Nathan Lawson
Fiji have not been at their best while the Blitzboks have been great.
The first score came for the Blitzboks close to halftime, but it was inevitable as Fiji had spent most of the half desperately defending their own tryline.
Fiji levelled the scores when the Blitzboks appeared to lose their focus for a moment, but then South Africa immediately responded with a seven-pointer. The Blitzboks won a thriller by two tries to one.
The gold medal looms.
Blitzboks (2 tries) 14-7 (1 try) Fiji
Tries Blitzboks: Justin Geduld, Masande Mtshali
Tries Fiji: Pilipo Bukayaro
The sun has set in Dubai but the heat has hardly abated as the Blitzboks and Argentina come out onto the pitch for the final, 14 minute showdown.
For three minutes the contest seems deadlocked, but then a bone-crushing tackle by Justin Geduld causes a loose ball that the Blitzboks swoop on and creative handling and speed leads to the opening score. A minute later, Shilton van Wyk gets put into a gap as wide as a barn door. At halftime the Blitzboks have a 12 point lead.
With Oosthuizen in the sinbin, Argentina score. The match is not over by a long shot!
Rosco Specman misses a try by centimetres and for a moment the Blitzboks seem to have abandoned the winning strategy that has served them so well throughout the tournament.
But then it’s over. The Blitzboks are the Dubai champions for the 11th time. It’s the fifth time in a row which is a record.
Blitzboks (2 tries) 12-7 (1 try) Argentina
Tries Blitzboks: Impi Visser, Shilton Van Wyk
Tries Argentina: Matías Osadczuk
Pictured above: Man of the match, Selvyn Davids.
Image source: SA Rugby