Blitzbokke star in doubt

2011-11-25 17:38

Adelaide - Springbok Sevens playmaker Cecil Afrika will undergo a scan to assess the rib injury he suffered against Japan on day one of the Gold Coast Sevens in Brisbane.

The Australian tournament is the opening round of the HSBC Sevens World Series and South Africa is one of only four teams who remained unbeaten after a very competitive first day.

The Blitzbokke will play against France in the quarter-finals tomorrow morning (SA time) after recording victories over the USA, Japan and hosts, Australia earlier today.

Afrika, the IRB Sevens Player of the Year, has just recovered from a broken jaw to take his place in the team.

“He is going for a scan and we will just wait and get feedback from our medical team,” was the comment from Paul Treu, SA Sevens coach, after pool decider against Australia.

“It is better to have him on the park and part of the Series. I don't want to preempt things but if he is fit to play and cleared by our medical team then he will definitely be picked,” added Treu.

The SA coach said he always knew day one would be difficult because his team did not play a lot of warm-up games compared to previous years.

“We can be pleased with our performances. We didn't play to our best but the games were all physical, the breakdowns are such a contest. All the teams have upped their games, the standard of Sevens is much better than it used to be for the first leg.”

Looking forward to the France encounter, Treu said he was not surprised at all that France managed to clinch a place in the Cup knock-out ahead of Argentina.

“France played some good matches last season and their performances today is further proof that we are in for a difficult match.

There is a good spirit in the camp and we are looking forward to the match,” said Treu.

South Africa was not as quick out of the blocks against Japan and the USA but still did enough to steer them through two difficult encounters.

Against the USA the Blitzbokke suffered a scare after conceding two tries before they eventually won 17-12 and they came back from 7-0 down against Japan before a hat-trick from Chris Dry saw them safely home (31-7).

They then delivered a dominant forward display against Australia to win 21-7 thanks to tries from Mark Richards, Robert Ebersohn and Steven Hunt.

SuperSport will show all the action live and the South Africa vs. France match starts at 6.12am SA time.

Cup quarter-finals

New Zealand v England
Samoa v Australia
Wales v Fiji
South Africa v France