Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
11 Aug 2016
6:11 am

Blitzboks hit back to keep medal hopes alive

Wesley Botton

Blitzboks captain Kyle Brown is confident of their chances of reaching the podium.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Juan de Jongh of South Africa tackles Tom Cusack of Australia during the quarter final Sevens match between South Africa and Australia on day 5 of the Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)

Having bounced back to book their place in the semifinals of the rugby sevens tournament at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday night, Blitzboks captain Kyle Brown lauded his players as they positioned themselves within one win of earning a historic medal.

The SA team romped to a 22-5 victory over Australia in their quarter-final, after going down 12-5 to the same opponents earlier in the day at Deodoro Stadium.

“Throughout the season we’ve played some fantastic rugby and I think the guys know full well if they come together and they play as well as they can they’re going to be close to unstoppable on the day,” Brown said.

“I wouldn’t say we were unstoppable tonight but I think we played much better rugby than we did this morning, and I think we’re getting closer and closer as the minutes go by.”

With rugby sevens making its debut at the multi-sport Games, Brown remained confident of their chances of reaching the podium.

“It was important for us to approach this tournament just like any other, and realise every time you’re on that field you have to make it count,” he said.

“You get this one shot on the field, one opportunity, and if that’s done it’s done. You walk away and you don’t get another chance again for another four years.”

The Blitzboks will meet Great Britain in the penultimate round on Thursday, with World Sevens Series champions Fiji facing underdogs Japan in the other semifinal.

Should they lose their fixture against the British outfit, the South Africans will turn out in the bronze medal playoff, and if they win the game they will compete in the battle for gold and silver.