They’ve done it: Blitzboks punch ticket to Olympics in Paris

The Blitzboks will breathe a sigh of relief after they finally managed snatch rugby's last available qualification spot for the Olympics.

They’ve done it: Blitzboks punch ticket to Olympics in Paris

The Blitzboks beat Great Britain in a tense Sevens Repechage final in Monaco to claim the last qualification spot for the Paris Olympics.

In a game where all the points were scored in the first half, the Blitzboks were resolute in defence, holding out a late GB onslaught to book their place on the plane for July.

Canada and Spain also missed out after falling at the semi-final stage, but Spain finished the weekend with some pride as they won 31-14 in the bronze final.  

Final: South Africa beat Great Britain to Olympics spot 

Quewin Nortje opened the scoring after just two minutes for the Blitzboks after a well-executed cross field kick, but GB soon piled the pressure back on their opponents. The South Africans’ defence was fierce, but ultimately could not hold out a finish from Robbie Fergusson in the right corner. 

GB hit the ball back in play of their kick off, but it worked against their favour, the ball finding Shilton Van Wyk at full pace to take South Africa 14-5 ahead at the break.

GB looked to attack out of their half but a breakdown turnover from Tristan Leyds stunted their progress and were forced to defend again, but Charlton Kerr stepped up to match Leyds’ steal with the Blitzboks edging closer to the line. 

GB won a penalty with just over a minute and opted for a scrum, and with two scores needed the attack needed to be quick. However, GB knocked the ball on, South Africa booking their place to the Olympics in Paris.

HAPPINESS ABOUND IN BLITZBOKS CAMP

“It’s a pretty special group we have here, just to cherish the moment is what we’re living for,” said Leyds in the wake of their qualification for the Olympics.

“There was a lot of external pressure, the people back home get disappointed [when we don’t perform], but we kept the group tight and it paid off, we qualified for Paris. To the people back home, thank you for supporting us and believing in us, we are going to take this energy to Paris.”

Blitzboks veteran Rosko Specman, who has plenty of experience of competing at the Olympics, said he was proud of his teammates for the character they showed to get the desired results throughout this weekend’s Sevens Repechage tournament.

“We have some pretty special youngsters in our team, they made us proud this week,” “[The Olympics] is the biggest sporting event in the world. It’s pretty special to play in an Olympics.”

Earlier in the day, the Blitzboks put on a dazzling four-try display to take down Canada 26-0 in the semi-finals of the Repechage tournament.

Great Britain booked their place in the Repechage final with a nervy 17-12 win over Spain.

Blitzboks in huddle before Olympics qualification game
Blitzboks in a huddle before final Olympic qualification game. Image: SA Rugby website.