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Commonwealth Games

Blitzboks in the medals as they down Aussies in semifinal

David Isaacson Sports reporter
Angelo Davids in action against Scotland in Birmingham on Saturday.
Angelo Davids in action against Scotland in Birmingham on Saturday.
Image: Richard Heathcote/2022 Getty Images

Angelo Davids scored yet another hat-trick as the Blitzboks beat Australia 24-12 in their semifinal on Sunday to ensure they would win a Commonwealth Games medal. 

They face Olympic champions Fiji in the final at 10.04pm on Sunday as they attempt to win only their second gold medal in this tournament. 

It is only the second time since rugby sevens was introduced to the Games in 1998 that the Kiwis will not win gold. The last time New Zealand failed to win, at Glasgow 2014, they were downed in the final by the Blitzboks.

On Sunday New Zealand led Fiji 14-0 at one stage in their semifinal, but reduced to five men they were forced into extra time, where they lost on a golden try.  

Australia drew first blood when Mark Nawaqanitawase broke a tackle and went over in the left corner for a 5-0 lead. 

But Davids levelled matters, collecting a grubber by Selvyn Davids to score a converted try and take the lead late in the first half.

Australia hit back, sending the ball through several pairs of hands before Matthew Gonzalez broke free to score under the posts for a 12-7 advantage. 

SA had conceded only one try going into the match, but suddenly they had let through two. 

But the Blitzboks took full advantage when Australia were reduced to six men when Henry Hutchinson was yellow-carded. 

They swung the ball down the line and Davids went over for his second try unmarked to level matters at 12-12 at the break. 

Selvyn Davids scored a great opportunist effort early in the second half after charging down an attempted kick upfield, picking up the stray ball and charging through for the line. Ronald Brown converted to push the lead to 19-12. 

Angelo Davids rounded off a full-line movement from a line-out to go over in the right corner and extend the lead to 24-12. He also went over three times in the pool matches against Scotland and Malaysia.

Apart from the gold in 2014, SA’s only other Games medals have been bronze, in 2002 and again in 2010. 

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