Sport24.co.za | Powell: Blitzboks need to be sharp to advance to final

Cape Town – The Blitzboks kept their dream of a first ever Rugby World Cup Sevens title alive as they set up a semi-final encounter against England on Sunday.

The Springbok Sevens side defeated Scotland 36-5 at AT&T Park, San Francisco on Saturday to set up a semi-final spot. 

The Blitzboks, who outplayed Ireland on Friday evening, again fired on all cylinders and tries by Werner Kok (2), Justin Geduld (2), Siviwe Soyizwapi and Ruhan Nel eased them into the final four of the tournament.

But Blitzbok coach Neil Powell warned that his team will have to look after their ball possession if they want to progress to the final, as England are a dangerous side from unstructured defence.

“The guys really pitched up against Scotland and I was very pleased about that,” said Powell.

“We were very clinical and used every opportunity we had to score. We gave Scotland very little, to be honest. That could come to nothing if we don’t show up with the same intensity against England in the semi-final.”

Powell realised his team will need further improvement against England, who edged the USA in extra time to make it into the final four.

“England play sharp rugby as we saw against the USA,” said the Blitzbok coach.

“Their ability to retain restarts was instrumental in that win against the US and that is an aspect of our play we will need to be very sharp at if we want the ball.”

New Zealand and Fiji, who will contest the other semi-final, respectively beat France and Argentina in the other quarter-finals.

Kick-off against England on Sunday is at 21:40 SA time. 

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