Blitzbokke win Sevens opener
Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens team needed a second half rally to survive an early scare and run out 17-12 winners over a tough USA side in their opening game of the Gold Coast Sevens.
The Blitzbokke, who chose not to field IRB Sevens Player of the year Cecil Afrika and fellow stalwarts Paul Delport, Chase Minnaar and Robert Ebersohn from the start of the game, had them to thank in the second as they rallied back from 12-5 down at the break to do enough to win.
The victory, above all else, will be all that concerns Paul Treu’s team, especially as they were largely the victims of their own rustiness as the USA played cleverly and snatched opportunities off Blitzbok mistakes.
The opening try was a perfect example of this, as Frankie Horne knocked on a pass from captain Kyle Brown in a simple scissors movement, only to have Zach Test scoop up the ball and scoot through the tryline.
Brown was prominent in the comeback, leading from the front and made the hard yards as an overlap was opened for Mark Richards to roll through a tackle and even matters up.
But the Boks were once again under pressure as they had a scrum overturned for committing too early to the scrum on their own ball, and the Americans took advantage of the free kick to send test over to burrow through two tackles and score.
At half-time and 12-5 down, the Blitzbokke were struggling, but an initial break by Richards led to Chris Dry’s try before some quick thinking by Afrika sent Paul Delport down the blindside and led to a beauty of an inside pass and some strong legwork by Boom Prinsloo for the winning try.
Paul Treu's side will play Japan (09:53) and hosts Australia (13:36) in their remaining matches on Friday.