Vegas - The Blitzboks on Saturday secured their fifth consecutive
Cup quarter-final appearance of the 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series.
Scoring 57 points and conceding only seven at the Las Vegas Sevens, being
played at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, South Africa dominated the day with
two solid wins to stay on track for a fourth tournament win for the year.
The Blitzboks scored a 26-7 win over Canada and then eased
past France 31-0 to top the pool and secured a spot amongst the top eight sides
in the tournament. They still face Wales in their final pool A match, but the
result will not affect South Africa's qualification to the Cup quarters.
A pleased Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, complimented
"My biggest concern was whether the guys who came in
for Seabelo (Senatla) and Kwagga (Smith) would be able to slot in, as those two
were very solid on defence, but they did. Defensively they trusted the system
and delivered, while on attack, we played some good rugby," Powell said.
"We have some serious firepower in the team."
The coach closed the door on the day one performance though,
with the focus moving to Wales in their last pool match.
"We need to put these matches behind us and make sure
we come back strong again when we face Wales. That match will be important as
it must provide the momentum and rhythm going into the Cup quarters later in
the day," he said.
South Africa faced a determined Canada in their opening
match and trailed 7-5 at the break, but solid contributions by Justin Geduld
and Rosko Specman resulted in a commanding win.
The North Americans scored an early try through John
Moonlight, before a strong run by Ruhan Nel left defenders trailing and
resulted in a first try for his side.
The second half was much more to South Africa’s liking.
Branco du Preez, playing in his 50th tournament for South Africa, made a
massive try-saving tackle to prevent Canada from extending their lead and when
Geduld's playmaking abilities kicked in, it was all over. Specman scored a
brace and Du Preez converted his own try to secure a 26-7 win.
Against France, the Blitzboks played with much more fluency
and delivered a pleasing performance. Geduld again was very prominent, scoring
two and setting up Specman for his third of the tournament as South Africa
raced to a 17-0 lead at the break. The second half saw much of the same, as
Siviwe Soyizwapi and Werner Kok scored tries. Du Preez's conversion of Kok's
try was his 300th in the series.
Justin Geduld (18) and Rosko Specman (15) were the leading
points' scorers for the team.
The Springbok Sevens team face Wales in the final pool A
clash at 02h08 Sunday morning. They played Wales 42 times before, winning 41 of
those. The average score between the two sides is 27-8 to the Blitzboks. The
teams last met in Cape Town in December last year, with South Africa winning