Bok Sevens soar, now for Eng­land

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - AL­LI­SON DE VIL­LIERS

SOUTH AFRICA capped off day one of IRB Rugby Sevens tour­na­ment here last night on a high note with a con­vinc­ing 29-5 win over Ar­gentina

Sibu­siso Sit­hole scored two tries, while Petrus En­gel­brecht, Kyle Brown, Ber­nado Botha and Paul Del­port got one apiece.

Coach Paul Treu was de­lighted with his side’s over­all per­for­mance and said: “We had a much bet­ter start but I feel we have too many un­forced er­rors and need to play a bit smarter.”

The Spring­boks top Pool D and meet Dubai win­ners and Pool C run­ners-up Eng­land to­day.

Treu said their ap­proach will be the same head­ing into the cru­cial clash.

“We need to ma­nip­u­late their de­fend­ers, stick to our strengths and play­ers like Del­port and Ce­cil (Afrika) need to at­tack when given space. First­time tack­les will also be key.”

Ear­lier the Boks got off to the best pos­si­ble start with a 38-0 thrash­ing of Por­tu­gal in their Pool D en­counter.

The Boks had a ner­vous start with ba­sic han­dling er­rors but quickly set­tled and lived up to their name of Blitz Bokke, up­ping their tempo.

They dis­played ef­fort­less move­ments with quick hands led by Del­port who set up winger Botha for the Boks’ open­ing try.

Skip­per Brown used his strength to score his first try of the se­ries and was fol­lowed by fly­half Afrika.

Afrika con­tin­ued his rich vein of form, scor­ing 11 points in the first half be­fore be­ing re­placed by Mark Richards.

The Boks kept up the pres­sure forc­ing Por­tu­gal’s num­ber 16 Ader­ito Esteves to fum­ble and En­gel­brecht was on hand to add his name to the score­board to give the Boks a 26-0 lead at half­time.

SA stuck to their strat­egy in the sec­ond half and it worked when Brown scored his sec­ond try of the match. Winger Steven Hunt’s con­verted try sealed the win.

In their sec­ond game against neigh­bours Zim­babwe, the Boks were too strong and romped to a 33-7 win.

With 25 sec­onds left Afrika scored and con­verted his third try of the tour­na­ment.

The Boks used sub­lime pace and mo­men­tum to al­low Afrika over for his sec­ond try which he con­verted.

Tafadzwa Chi­tok­windo out­run Afrika and Frankie Horne to score Zim­babwe’s only try and re­duce the deficit to 21-7.

The sec­ond half got off to a fiery start and Botha grabbed the Boks’ fifth try.

Coach Treu will be sat­is­fied with the per­for­mances es­pe­cially that of Afrika, Horne and the young duo of Jo­hannes “Boom” Prinsloo and En­gel­brecht. The burly Horne, the 2009 Sevens Player of the year, missed the ma­jor­ity of last sea­son due to in­jury but proved that he is close to his per­sonal best.

In ear­lier re­sults, there were a few up­sets with last week’s Plate fi­nal­ists Aus­tralia los­ing 33-15 to world cham­pi­ons Wales in the open­ing Pool A match, while heavy­weights Fiji downed USA 43-5.

In Pool C, New Zealand thrashed Rus­sia 33-7 thanks to a brace of tries from Jack McPhee and the re­li­able boot of To­masi Cama, while de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Samoa made their in­ten­tions known with a 43-0 thump­ing of Namibia.

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