South Africa finishes fifth as Fiji retains Olympic rugby sevens title

(SATSports) – South Africa secured fifth place at the Olympic rugby sevens tournament after defeating the United States 28-7 at Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo earlier on Wednesday.

The Blitzboks scored four tries through Justin Geduld, Sakoyisa Makata, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Stedman Gans for an emphatic win. Ronald Brown and Branco du Preez both kicked two conversions. Stephen Tomasin scored the lone try for the U.S. while Madison Hughes successfully added a conversion.

South Africa had earlier on edged Australia 22-19 while the U.S. had overcome Canada 21-14 to make it to the final of the 5th-8th place playoff.

Blitzbok coach Neil Powell only managed to attend the final match because he had been forced to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 during the team’s training camp in Kagoshima. He, However, was happy to have been part of the action even if it was just for the final match.

“Obviously, we did not plan it like this, but that is life, it is not always perfect; challenges come across your way and you need to adapt. It is not always a fairy tale,” he said.

“It was tough to watch from afar. If you think it is tough to sit next to the field and assist the guys, but this was much worse because you cannot really contribute to their effort on the field , and it was nerve-wracking and stressful.”

He concluded by noting the team managed to end the campaign on a high and praised the players for responding well after their shock exit.

Meanwhile, Fiji retained the title they won in Rio in 2016 beating New Zealand 27-12 while, Argentina, conquerors of South Africa in the quarterfinals, defeated Great Britain 17-12 to end their stunning campaign by claiming the bronze medal.

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