Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Powell proud of Blitzboks efforts despite final result

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Ray Hunter | 06 February, 2018, 15:23

Olympic champions Fiji delivered their best performance in almost two years as they beat the Blitzboks 24-17 in the final of the Hamilton leg of the World Sevens Series on Sunday.

Fiji has knocked New Zealand out of the Hamilton sevens.

New Zealand took the lead early in the second half, but Fiji had the final say with another converted try in a tense finish.

"Over the past few years we have held several major worldwide sporting fixtures, and successfully delivering our HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament this weekend has enhanced our reputation as a "can do" city when it comes to these big events", Mayor King says.

Fiji would have to come through a nervy encounter with Pacific rivals Samoa in the quarter-finals, with their opponents having appeared to have scored a late winning try through Eroni Sau.

Fiji beat New Zealand 14-12 while South Africa edged out Australia 24-5 in their Cup semi-finals.

The Blitzboks looked to be favorites ahead of the final after comfortable wins over Scotland in the quarters and last week's victor Australia in the semis.

Cheikhou Kouyate reacts to West Ham racism crisis — EXTRA TIME
Brighton have scored just five goals in their last 13 Premier League games, failing to find the net on nine occasions in that run. Michail Antonio is back in the squad following his disclipine from David Moyes for coming late twice to team meetings this week.

Injuries blighted the Blitzboks' weekend as they lost Dylan Sage to concussion on day one‚ while Rosko Specman and Justin Geduld were injured before the final.

"It's been a tough two weeks for us as a programme losing out in the quarter-final stages - we aspire to be better than that", said the head coach.

Four tournaments, four different winners - this year's Sevens World Series continues to surprise and entertain.

They lost Sevuloni Mocenacagi for the final two matches after he was suspended for two games for a unsafe tackle, but still had just enough firepower to beat New Zealand 14-12 in the semi-finals. "We had an opportunity to score and did not, they countered and scored and then got the momentum", Powel said.

Samoa, meanwhile, finished fifth with a 19-15 win over Kenya.

England beat Russian Federation 47-0 and Papua New Guinea 27-0 before falling to South Africa in the pool decider.

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