CityPress - - News - SIMNIKIWE XABANISA at Cape Town Sta­dium sports@city­press.co.za

The Bl­itzboks con­tin­ued to look like the team to beat in the new World Rugby Sevens Se­ries sea­son with a con­vinc­ing 29-7 win over Aus­tralia in the fi­nal match of day one of the Cape Town Sevens last night. and pass­ing grem­lins crept into the newly well-oiled ma­chine. The ini­tial open­ing was made by the num­ber of penal­ties Aus­tralia con­ceded early on, mean­ing the hosts could get into their ter­ri­tory.

Once Sny­man opened the scor­ing after the Bl­itzboks held it to­gether long enough to put the last man away, it was pretty much one-way traf­fic as tries by Kyle Brown and Ce­cil Afrika meant they changed halves 17-0 to the good.

The turn­around in for­tunes was en­gi­neered by typ­i­cally ag­gres­sive work at the break­down and hard­hit­ting de­fence, which al­most al­ways turned over pos­ses­sion. The Aussies pulled one back through Sam My­ers, but an­other try by Sny­man and Ruan Nel made it a com­fort­able out­ing for the lo­cals.

Go­ing into to­day, the ques­tion is if flyer Se­abelo Se­natla, who is play­ing in his fi­nal tour­na­ment be­fore join­ing the Storm­ers for in the Su­per Rugby team next year, will break Fabian Juries’ try record for South Africa.

Se­natla, who is on 171 ca­reer tries and 14 for the new sea­son, needs nine tries to beat Juries’ mark of 179.

With to­day be­ing the knock­out stages of the tour­na­ment, the ten­dency would be to doubt that Se­natla will be able to hit the mark, but ev­ery­thing he has done so far has beg­gared be­lief.

Ear­lier in the day, the Bl­itzboks had largely done what was ex­pected of them in dis­patch­ing for­mer Cold War ri­vals Rus­sia and the US. Thanks to scor­ing seven tries – two each to the free-scor­ing Se­natla and the in­de­fati­ga­ble Werner Kok – they blanked out the plucky but out­played Rus­sians 41-0 in their first game.

As ever th­ese days, the game against the Amer­i­cans was more dif­fi­cult than the fi­nal score of 28-10 sug­gested.

The US were all in­ten­sity and ur­gency at the start, but had none of the ex­e­cu­tion or ac­cu­racy they needed to ex­ploit that early dom­i­nance.

While they scored first, two er­rant passes got South Africa 14-5 up in lit­er­ally no time, Afrika and Kok be­ing the ben­e­fi­ciary of their spray-gun ap­proach.

Once the Boks warmed to their task by get­ting their own in­ten­sity up, mak­ing less mis­takes and tak­ing their own chances, that was pretty much the end of that.

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