Blitzboks book USA quarter-final clash

2015-12-04 23:00
Seabelo Senatla (Supplied)

Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens started their Dubai Sevens campaign on a winning note by scoring three impressive wins on the opening day of the tournament on Friday. South Africa, the defending champions, finished top of their pool and now face the USA on Saturday in the Cup quarter-finals.

Kick-off is 10:06 (SA time) and the match is part of the live tournament coverage on SuperSport 6.

SA Sevens wing Seabelo Senatla was the leading try scorer last season and he immediately hit top form to finish the day with six tries. The speedster scored a brace in each of the three group matches, often displaying dazzling speed to outstrip the defence.

In their last group match against Scotland, Senatla crossed over early already for his two tries. But the Scots hit back with two of their own to hand South Africa a slight 14-12 lead at halftime.

Following the half-time talk, SA played with much more composure and added two further tries to their tally. Justin Geduld and Juan de Jong, in his first World Series outing since Wellington 2008, dotted down to secured a comfortable 26-12 win.

The Blitzboks started the day with a 33-7 win over Samoa and then turned up the heat to hand World Series newcomers Russia a 45-0 whitewash. They scored 33 consecutive points after Samoa had managed to grab the first try. Senatla and Kok (two each) as well as Philip Snyman helped themselves to tries.

Against Russia, the Blitzboks ran in seven tries in the sizzling desert sun. Senatla (2), Chris Dry, Snyman, Geduld, Kok and Cheslin Kolbe were the try scorers in this clash.

Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, said afterwards he was pleased with the results. He was especially satisfied with their second half showing after struggling initially against Scotland.

Powell explains: “We did well overall and also managed to give enough game time to our newcomers Francois (Hougaard) and Juan (de Jongh). It was important for us to test them here.”

He added: “I am glad Scotland gave us a good struggle in the first half and during the break we told the players to remain calm and stay focussed. I think we played much better in the second half and deserved our win against a good Scottish side.”

The USA clinched their playoff spot against South Africa with a historic 14-12 win over New Zealand in their final group match.

The Dubai Sevens Cup quarter-final draw for Saturday (SA times):

09:00 - Fiji v Australia

09:22 - New Zealand v Samoa

09:44 - England v Argentina

10:06 - South Africa v USA


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