In 2011 South Africa’s Blitzbokke set up a dream contest and final in the HSBC Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens Tournament when they met New Zealand who extended their unbeaten record in the South African leg of the sevens tournaments to three wins, beating SA into second place.
This year’s tournament saw an injury ravaged Blitzbokke play in the UNofficial final against New Zealand in order to determine who would advance to the final in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa played against the United States first and won that game 17-7. IN that game Ruwellyn Isbell opened the scoring for SA. IN an anxious moment for the crowd the USA went into the lead off a try by Nick Edwards converted by Folau Niua.
SA replied with two tries – Cornal Hendricks and Cheslin Kolbe with a Cecil Afrika conversion to end the game victorious on 17-7.
And then it was on to the UNofficial final with New Zealand. As per normal the All Blacks had lots of support in the crowd from persons with no patriotic blood in their veins ……….
Paul Delport opened the scoring for SA with a great run down the North East touchline from a ball that he scooped out of the air. 5-0 to South Africa.
On the half time hooter New Zealand’s Sam Dickson crossed the line and the ref called for some assistance from the eye in the sky – the attempt was adjudged as lost forward and the teams took a break.
At the restart Kurt Baker scored for New Zealand and the sides were at level pegging.
With less than two minutes to go a number of substitutions were called for by South Africa and the players appeared confused and rattled with the wholesale changes. They didn’t seem to regain momentum and Ben Lam from New Zealand capitalised on the unsettled team by crashing over for a converted try.
New Zealand won 12-5.
Adding to the injury woes Paul Delport has been taken to hospital for x-rays on a suspected broken rib.
Cecil Afrika sat out the game against Argentina in a game to determine third place, his place taken by young heartthrob, Stephan Dippenaar.
Speedy Cheslin Kolbe stamped his authority on the game in the first half with two converted tries in the third and fourth minutes and a converion of a Philip Snyman try in the last second of the first half for the blitzbokke to lead 21-0.
Cheslin Kolbe earned his salary and a hat-trick in the first minute of the second half to take the Boks to 28-0 with a successful conversion.
Two minutes later Cornal Hendricks made a speedy break from within the Springboks half and scored under the poles to take the Blizbokke to a commanding 35-0 lead.
Disappointingly the game ended with a bout of fisticuffs after the final whistle.
South Africa exit the 2012 Cell C HSBC NMB Sevens in third place.
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