Cape Town - The Blitzboks advanced to the Cup quarter-finals
of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens tournament in front of a packed Cape Town Stadium
on Saturday after winning all three their pool matches.
The hosts and defending champions topped Pool A with wins
over Russia (41-0), the USA (28-10) and Australia (29-7). They will face Wales
in the first of four Cup quarter-finals on Sunday (kick-off at 12h04).
The South Africans had a strong day on attack, scoring 16
tries in their three matches, the most of all the teams. However, their defence
was also tested, especially against Australia and the USA, but the Blitzboks
put in some solid hits to keep their opponents at bay. They only conceded three
tries, the least of any of the teams on the opening day.
Werner Kok finished the day as top South African try scorer
with four touchdowns, while Seabelo Senatla and Philip Snyman scored three
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said that it was a difficult day,
despite the good results.
“Teams are now looking at different ways to counter us and
especially Australia played a very physical match against us,” said Powell.
“We have a number of quick steppers in our team and our
opponents are trying to stop that. So it could have been better, but I am
pleased that we topped the pool. That is always our first aim on Day One.”
Powell praised the defensive effort and warned that Wales
will not be an easy opponent on the second day: “Where our line was breached,
the guys worked hard to get back and we only conceded three tries. That is very
“Wales played well in Dubai and improved a lot this week as
well. We will have to prepare well for them if we want to continue in the
In their first match of the day, the Blitzboks opened their title defence with a solid 41-0 win over Russia, scoring
seven tries. Seabelo Senatla and Werner Kok scored a brace each, while Justin
Geduld, Dylan Sage and Philip Snyman also crossing the tryline. Geduld, Branco
du Preez and Rosko Specman kicked conversions.
The home side had to come from behind in their second match
of the day, against the USA, who scored early via Maka Unefe after three minutes.
But the Blitzboks responded immediately as Cecil Afrika pounced on a stray pass
and scored under the sticks.
Less than a minute later, Kok scored his first of the match
and another sideline conversion by Du Preez sideline gave his side a 14-5 lead
at the break. A try within 40 seconds of the second half restart by Senatla and
another successful conversion by De Preez saw the lead jump to 21-5.
The USA did not stop trying though and Danny Barrett bumped
a couple of defenders to score with two minutes to go. The result was sealed
though with Kok's second, as he ran down the touchline with a number of
defenders in his wake. Justin Geduld added the conversion for a 28-10 win.
Their final match, against Australia, three good attacking
tries resulted in a strong 17-0 lead at the break, with five-pointers by
Snyman, Kyle Brown and Afrika creating a buffer that was too big for the
Australians to overcome.
From the restart, Snyman crossed for his second of the
match, which killed off any chance Australia had of winning and staying in the
Cup race. They did score a late try, but a great run by Ruhan Nel sealed the
win in convincing fashion for the Blitzboks.
Fiji topped Pool B, New Zealand beat England 33-7 to top
Pool C and Scotland had the better of Wales in their defining Pool D clash.
The Cup quarter-finals are:
12:04 South Africa v Wales
12:26 New Zealand v Kenya
12:48 Scotland v USA13:10 Fiji v England