Bok Sevens soar, now for England
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.