Dubai - South Africa moved into the quarterfinals of the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens with a resounding 36-7 victory over the USA in their second pool match at the Sevens stadium.
After struggling to beat the Eagles 17-12 last week in their pool game, the Blitzbokke turned it on against the Americans, showing them up for flair and pace as halfback Branco du Preez played a vital part in their turn of fortunes.
The victory means the Blitzbokke will move into the quarterfinals of the tournament, although their final match against defending HSBC World Series champions New Zealand will determine just where they will finish in the pool with either France or England looming as a possible semifinal opponent.
The Boks found space early, with sniping runs from Bernardo Botha and Du Preez troubling the American defence, but it was captain Kyle Brown who crossed early to put them up on the scoreboard. Du Preez was the next to go over, darting through a gap to stretch over the line and get the five pointer before he was joined on the scoresheet by Renfred Dazel.
The Boks ended off the first half in style as Botha went over in the right corner to give them a 24-0 halftime lead.
In the second half it took all of two minutes for the Blitzbokke to get themselves on the board again, as Boom Prinsloo powered his way over, before the USA finally got some consolation with a try to Peter Tiberio, who finally found a hole in the Bok defence through good interplay.
However, order was restored when Mark Richards scored the last try of the game, giving the Boks a great victory to follow on to their earlier win over Portugal.
*Earlier the Boks beat Portugal 17-5 in a scrappy and disjointed game.
Botha, Brown and William Small Smith went over for the tries as the Blitzbokke opened their account in style.
* There was mixed fortunes for the other South African teams in the various other tournaments taking place parallel to the IRB Series matches.
The Springbok Womens team lost both their opening matches in the IRB Women’s Challenge Cup, going down 22-10 to the USA before coming close against England, losing 22-19.
The Samurai Marauders, or the Blitzbokke second stringers, beat the HFW Wailers (England’s B side) 33-10 before taking apart GAC Stockholm Exiles 42-0 and finishing off by beating Enisey 14-5.
Tuks Women’s team, playing in the International Womens invitational, lost their opening two games, first to Moscow Regional 17-5 and then to the French national team, going down 33-14.