They beat Fiji 31-7 in the gold medal match
Blitzboks win Commonwealth Games sevens
For the second time in their history, South Africa men are Commonwealth Games sevens champions, seeing off Fiji in clinical fashion. The 31-7 scoreline belies not only how efficient the Blitzboks were with the ball but how mean-spirited they were in defence.
This match-up is one of the great contrasts in sevens. The free-flowing, mesmerising Fiji all-stars versus the pragmatic, ruck-to-ruck Blitzboks who benefit heavily from defensive cohesion and an array of kicking options in attack. And in this match, we saw the pinnacle of one of those projects.
Related: The ballad of the Blitzboks
The first score was sparked by a quick tap by South Africa’s Shaun Williams, who kept pace high to go close himself. The ball was recycled to the little master Selvyn Davids, who once again pulled out a brilliant kick-pass, this time for Muller du Plessus to score. And Williams made the wide conversion to make it 7-0. Davids has had such an impact on this tournament that even in the competition’s denouement, even as you assumed he would kick it, you could never tell which manner of boot he would pull out.
He continued to pull string, this time stutter stepping and bringing his favourite target Angelo Davids into the game. From returned ball it was again worked efficiently through the hands via Selvyn Davids, from left to right until it hit the bruising JC Pretorius to score in the corner.
As we careered towards half-time, and despite would-be scores being scuppered by kicks skidding away from Angelo Davids, South Africa earnt another score. This time from the bright Williams scuttling into the corner after Pretorius yoink-ed the ball out of a Fijian ruck.
Nothing seemed to stick for Fiji, who got caught in the teeth of the Blitzboks defence. South Africa clearly revelled in the opposition errors, but perhaps the most pleasing element was the lack of hiccups on their own side.
Fijian firework Waisea Nacuqu eventually scored and converted himself, thundering forward with would-be tackles left behind before they were completed. But once South Africa refocused and went through their processes, they’d forced a turnover and sent Mfundo Ndhlovu pumping out hand-offs on his way to the gold-sealing score.
Commonwealth Games Men’s Sevens Results
Pool A: New Zealand 63-5 Sri Lanka, England 0-34 Samoa, England 47-19 Sri Lanka, New Zealand 19-17 Samoa, Samoa 44-0 Sri Lanka, New Zealand 20-0 England
Pool B: South Africa 46-0 Malaysia, Scotland 41-0 Tonga, Scotland 50-12 Malaysia, South Africa 36-5 Tonga, Tonga 31-7 Malaysia, South Africa 34-0 Scotland
Pool C: Canada 31-0 Wales, Fiji 52-0 Zambia, Wales 38-5 Zambia, Fiji 19-12 Canada, Canada 24-0 Zambia, Fiji 38-24 Wales
Pool D: Australia 62-0 Jamaica, Kenya 27-14 Uganda, Kenya 45-0 Jamaica, Australia 12-12 Uganda, Uganda 40-0 Jamaica, Australia 7-5 Kenya
9-16 Quarter-finals England 45-7 Jamaica, Wales 33-14 Malaysia, Uganda 38-19 Sri Lanka, Tonga 19-7 Zambia
Quarter-finals Fiji 34-7 Scotland, South Africa 33-0 Canada, New Zealand 31-0 Kenya, Australia 7-0 Samoa
13-16 Semi-finals Jamaica 28-7 Malaysia, Sri Lanka 27-14 Zambia
9-12 Semi-finals England 14-10 Wales, Uganda 27-7 Tonga
5-8 Semi-finals Kenya 12-22 Scotland, Samoa 19-17 Canada
Semi-finals New Zealand 14-19 Fiji, Australia 12-24 South Africa
13th-place play-off Jamaica 26-24 Sri Lanka
9th-place play-off England 31-17 Uganda
5th-place play-off Scotland 19-24 Samoa
Bronze medal match New Zealand 26-12 Australia
Gold medal match Fiji 7-31 South Africa
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