Blitzbokke make strong statement in opening win

2015-03-28 00:00

THE Blitzbokke did not hurt their chances of claiming a first Honk Kong Sevens title when they got off to a great start in their first match of the tournament.

South Africa beat Argentina 24-0 in their first Pool C clash yesterday, scoring four tries to make a strong statement ahead of today’s play.

Blitzbokke star Cecil Afrika wasted no time adding to his impressive career try tally, opening the scoring for the South Africans after a neat little switch with fellow dreadlocked veteran Branco du Preez.

The second try came through Seabelo Senatla. The livewire Stormers wing chased down a kick from Werner Kok, who made the original break from deep inside the Blitzbokke half. That gave the South African’s a 12-0 lead at half time.

The Argentineans were far from whipping boys and defended bravely for much of the game. But Kwagga Smith gave the Blitzbokke their third try in the second stanza.

Kok added the fourth try before the death to seal the deal, giving the Blitzbokke confidence and momentum ahead of their next two pool clashes today.

Coach Neil Powell lauded his side for their great start while tipping his hat to the spirited Argentina outfit.

“Argentina are always a difficult team to play so early in the tournament. I am very glad that we stuck to the basics and could eventually lay a good foundation in the first half. Those first five minutes were very important and I am happy that we showed a lot of patience when they defended so well,” Powell said.

“We denied them the necessary space and then forced them to make three handling errors in the first half. The guys really looked sharp, hungry and energetic and I’m pleased they won against a very dangerous team. Our focus now turns to Japan, who we will play in the morning [SA time]. I can assure you we will not be complacent and the boys will be highly motivated. With France still to come in the last pool match, this is really a tough group.”

The Blitzbokke are set to play Japan at 6.18 am this morning, before playing France in their final pool clash at 11.40 am.

The knockout stages of the Hong Kong Sevens get under way from 3.30 am tomorrow morning.

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