Blitzbokke don’t concede a point as they top pool
THE South African Sevens rugby side restored some pride with a convincing 26-0 win over nemesis Australia on the opening day of the Sevens World Series here last night
The two sides have met in consecutive Plate finals this season, with each nabbing a win.
The intensity was high and both sides threatened to score. However, the deadlock was broken on the stroke of halftime, when star flyhalf Cecil Afrika scored to send spectators in the stadium into rapture. Branco du Preez converted. South Africa applied the pressure after the break and Mark Richards scored a brace of triesand Steven Hunt one.
Earlier in the day, the Blitzbokke welcomed the return of Afrika, who kicked off their first Pool C match against Canada
With the backing of the crowd, which slowly built to 7,000, Du Preez opened the score tally early with a converted try.
With the North Americans penalised for not releasing the ball and collapsing the scrum, Afrika was on hand with a clever kick which landed in the safe hands of Chris Dry for South Africa’s second try.
A worrying factor was some missed tackles but thankfully the Boks could rely on Bernado Botha who came in with hit after hit.
Steven Hunt’s mistake of committing on a professional foul saw him sent to the sin bin for two minutes shortly after halftime. But coach Paul Treu was unperturbed and told the media afterwards: “The team bounced back despite being reduced to six players. We need to now maintain the momentum for the rest of the tournament and take one game at a time.”
All was forgiven when Hunt returned to the field and substitute Paul Delport set him up after gaining extensive ground for his second try of the game.
Treu made another three substitutions, handing Cornal Hendriks his World Series debut
The Boks won 33-0 thanks to a try and two conversions by ‘super sub’ Richards
In their second clash, South Africa obliterated Kenya 45-0 with Hunt leading the pack, scoring four out of the seven tries
Treu will be relieved with his side’s overall performance as they displayed good handling skills, spread the ball well and improved on defence
In other matches, Samoa beat England 24-14 in Pool A’s big encounter, Gold Coast winners Fiji thrashed Portugal 31-7 in Pool D, while defending champions New Zealand thumped Scotland 45-0.