SA must wait for Sevens title after losing Semi

South Africa will have to wait until the final of the IRB Sevens World Series tournament at Twickenham after going down 10-5 to New Zealand in the semifinal, to find out whether they are the 2008/09 IRB Series champions.

Two tries within a minute, one either side of half-time, set up the New Zealand win in a match where the New Zealand players were extraordinarily aggressive – and a kick that saw Springbok forward Mpho Mbyyizo receiving treatment after a blatant kick that was not picked up by either the referee or his assistant, may have cost the Boks the chance of already securing the IRB series title.

It was hard, relentless stuff, but in the end the Boks were penalised too often at breakdown to get their hands on enough ball and were also inclined to play it back to the forwards instead of taking it wide to their speedsters.

The Boks need a single point on the overall standings to secure the title. A loss by England in the final to New Zealand, should they beat Scotland in the semifinal, will take care of that. If they are eliminated in the semifinal, the Boks will be crowned champions for the first time.

England need a win in both this tournament and next week in Edinburgh to keep their hopes alive.

They must also hope South Africa are prevented from reaching the quarter-finals in Scotland. Effectively this means the Boks must end third in their pool.


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