Late Pretorius try a winner

Johannesburg- A late try scored by JC Pretorius was enough to give the Blitzboks the urge to beat France 19-12 in the cup semi-finals of the second Dubai Sevens tournament in the UAE on Saturday.

The Blitzboks’ quest to win a second Dubai title in as many weeks remains on track after advancing to the final.

But South Africa was made to fight for every inch in this semi-final against France, whose possession domination forced the Blitzboks to play a more defence-orientated game.

Several uncharacteristic mistakes by the Blitzboks saw France score first when Stephen Parez finished off with a swan-dive from a move that originated deep inside their own half.

But with his team in trouble, captain Siviwe Soyizwapi stepped up to get them back in the driving seat. He bagged two well-taken tries as the Blitzboks took a 12-7 lead at the break.

The second half was all France. They controlled possession, forcing South Africa to make countless tackles and levelled the score.

From then on, South Africa was under pressure as France went in search of a game-winning score. But when it mattered most, it was Soyizwapi who again came to the fore with a vital turnover. From there, the Blitzboks launched an attack and when Ronald Brown pierced the French defence, the scrambling Les Bleus were immediately penalised for a breakdown infringement.

South Africa set a line-out and went wide to JC Pretorius who bent the line and broke a tackle to score the match-deciding try.


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