Bok Sevens to meet Treu’s Kenya in quarter-finals
THE SPRINGBOK Sevens won three times yesterday to top Pool D and book a quarter-final spot against Kenya at the Dubai Sevens, Round 2 of the Sevens World Series.
South Africa outscored powerful Samoa by four tries to one in their final pool encounter to register a comfortable 26-5 win. Their quarter-final opponents, Kenya, are nowadays coached by former Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu. Kickoff time today is 9.35am (SA time).
In their two other pool matches earlier yesterday, the Springbok Sevens beat Argentina 17-7 and then swept Russia aside 34-5.
The first half against Samoa was a bruising affair but South Africa just managed to clinch the lead at halftime thanks to a converted try by Sampie Mastriet. Samoa hit back almost immediately to make the halftime score 7-5.
The Springbok Sevens started the second half in much better fashion and Branco du Preez scored their second try after a good scrum effort.
Werner Kok then crossed the line for their third try and his second of the tournament after a mistake by Samoa near their try line.
Speedster Justin Geduld, one of several replacements in the second half, scored their fourth try from a quick penalty tap to put the game out of reach of Samoa, who last year won the title after defeating New Zealand in the Cup final.
South Africa Sevens captain, Kyle Brown, said afterwards: “It’s much tougher these days. You have to punch all the way through and win that last game in your pool. We’re just so happy to be in the quarter-finals and we’ll give it our all.”
Against Russia, powerful running forward Jamba Ulengo scored twice and was joined on the scoresheet by Du Preez, Phillip Snyman, Mastriet and Kok, who dotted down for his first try in the World Series.
In their opening match, South Africa scored three times and Argentina once, although the South Americans enjoyed greater territorial advantage for much of the match.
Ulengo got the Springbok Sevens on the scoreboard after he raced away from the defence to score in the corner. Veteran forward Frankie Horne doubled the score to 10-0 a minute later after he powered his way over the tryline.
Argentina struck back in the second half with a converted try to reduce the difference to just three points at 10-7. However, clever play by Chris Dry saw South Africa stretch their lead to 17-7 after he took a quick penalty tap to score under the posts.
New Zealand are currently leading the World Series standings after their success at the Gold Coast in Australia. They have 22 points and are followed by Australia (19), England (17) and South Africa (15).
Round 3 of the Sevens World Series, the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens, takes place next weekend in Port Elizabeth. – SA Rugby
TOP CLASS: Branco du Preez of South Africa in action during the Dubai Sevens match against Argentina, as part of the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series at The Sevens stadium yesterday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.