Shock as Blitzboks fail to medal at Commonwealth Games
- Author: Terrell Bush Apr 16, 2018,
Apr 16, 2018, 1:40
South Africa were quickly into their stride in the final match of the opening round, Justin Geduld scoring a try in each half as the BlitzBoks showed their ruthless side with a dominant 43-0 defeat of Malaysia, the nation which hosted the first Commonwealth Games to feature rugby back in 1998.
New Zealand's men followed up the women's effort as they claimed gold, four years after their heartbreaking finals loss at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. An 80 metre try from Kelly Brazier secured the win and the first ever women's sevens gold medal.
Meanwhile, New Zealand made it a gold medal double at the with a dominant 14-0 win over Fiji.
It is the first time the women's sevens has featured at the Games, writing New Zealand into the history books claiming both titles in 2018.
New Zealand even had an opportunity to put the game completely beyond doubt when Fiji's Sevuloni Mocenecagi was given a yellow card for an early tackle on Sam Dickson.
The women beat Wales 45-0 and also face New Zealand in the semi-finals.
But the Kiwis comfortably wound down the clock for victory and the gold medal.
New Zealand had opened up a 12-0 halftime lead after tries to Portia Woodman and Blyde, before Emilee Cherry exploited some poor tackling close to the line and Ellia Green outpaced the cover defence to send the contest into extra time. Two exceptional finals capped a superb tournament of firsts - the first women's competition and Jamaica and Zambia making their debuts in the men's event.
"I looked at our captain (Sarah Goss) when we got the penalty and she gave me the heads-up that we're not kicking the ball out", Brazier said.
Defending champions South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji and England came through the pool stages unbeaten on a day packed full of drama and excitement at Robina Stadium to book their places in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Men's Sevens semifinals.