The year may be drawing to a close and everyone winding down from the hectic year they have had but there is one aspect that no one wants a break from and that is sport. We have a good line up of EPL, international cricket tours and local PSL games during the Holiday season to keep us busy not forgetting the PE Nelson Mandela Sevens taking place this weekend.
The Blitzbokke had a shaky performance in Dubai winning only three of their six matches including two crucial encounters against Portugal and Samoa. South Africa were dealt a blow before the tournament with Branco du Preez joining Cecil Afrika on the sidelines, to make matters worse for the Blitzbokke – Captain Kyle Brown broke his ankle against England which ended his weekend, leading to the most disappointing display at the Sevens World Series since Wellington 2001.
Samoa went on to shock the Sevens world and win the Cup Final in Dubai, beating New Zealand 26-15 in an enthralling final. So far New Zealand leads the standings on 38 points with Fiji, Kenya and Samoa tied on 32 points in 2nd spot. South Africa are in 6th, Australia 10th and England in a lowly 12th spot.
Looking back to PE last year, New Zealand broke South African hearts with a winning try in the final play of the game to beat the Blitzbokke 31-26 in an exciting Cup Final. Samoa took 3rd place beating England and Wales romped to a surprising 48-0 win against Fiji in the Plate Final. Scotland lifted the Bowl and Zimbabwe edged Kenya in the Shield Final.
The Blitzbokke will be looking to improve on their performance from Dubai and come out guns blazing as they take to the field tomorrow afternoon. They have called in backups with Cecil Afrika, Bernado Botha and Cheslin Kolbe thrown into the 12 man squad. SA will miss the services and leadership of Kyle Brown but will be contenders in front of their home fans.
Pool A: Samoa, France, South Africa and Australia
Pool B: New Zealand, Fiji, Scotland, England
Pool C: Kenya, Wales, Argentina, Spain
Pool D: Portugal, Canada, USA, Zimbabwe
Pool A and Pool B are both strong groups that will make for exciting matches and no doubt some upsets will occur. New Zealand are the favourites to lift the cup and looked excellent last weekend, particularly in defence and at the breakdown. The All Black Sevens thrive in South Africa, having won the last 3 tournaments. Although the Blitzbokke are missing key players, the team does have what it takes. All South Africans will be backing the boys and hopefully everything falls into place from the start.
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