SA shine on day one

2014-12-06 00:00

THE deadlocked duo of Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika stole the show yesterday on the opening day of the ­Dubai Sevens.

South Africa made it three wins from three games to move into the Cup quarter-finals, which get under way today.

Their opening match of the tournament saw them hand Portugal a 36-0 thumping, with rising star Werner Kok scoring a hat-trick while Seabelo Senatla, Afrika and Philip Snyman all dotted down tries.

Next up was a date with Canada. The Blitsbokke made fairly easy work of the Canadians but some handling errors and inaccuracy at the breakdown made for a less than perfect performance.

Nevertheless, the South Africans ran away to win 24-12 with Du Preez and Afrika standing out. Afrika scored a pushover try and set up another for Du Preez in the first stanza.

The pair then linked up again in the second half after the Canadians scored a quick try after the break. Du Preez put through a well-weighted chip that was gathered by Afrika who finished under the posts.

Minutes later Du Preez used his boot again, kicking a spot-on cross kick that saw Western Province star Senatla gather and score in the corner.

Their final match of the pool stages was against Wales. The match was tightly contested and it was Wales who took an early lead through a try from Will Harries.

The Blitsbokke struck back courtesy of Kok after a strong run up the midfield. Lions flank Kwagga Smith then made it 12-5 just after half time after some good pressure from his teammates led to his try.

The match then opened up as both teams looked to score. In the end a ­number of handling errors coupled with strong defence from both sides left the final score line 12-5.

SA and Wales progressed into the Cup quarter-finals while Portugal and Canada moved into the plate and bowl playoffs.

The Blitsbokke will face Argentina in their quarter-final clash today. Kick-off is at 9.44 am.

Blitsbokke results: v Portugal 36-0 (W); v Canada 24-12 (W); v Wales 12-5 (W).

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