Sevens

Unbeaten Blitzboks power in Edmonton, will face Hong Kong in quarters

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Siviwe Soyizwapi. (Gallo Images
Siviwe Soyizwapi. (Gallo Images

The Blitzboks secured convincing wins over Mexico, Hong Kong and Canada to finish top of their pool at the World Rugby Edmonton Sevens leg on Saturday.

South Africa outplayed Mexico 56-0, Hong Kong 43-5 and Canada 49-0 to continue with their impressive form last weekend in Vancouver, where they claimed their first Canada Sevens tournaments.

They will meet Hong Kong in the quarter-finals of the tournament on Sunday (18:26 SA time) and for Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell, a day where everything starts afresh.

"It is not ideal to play an opponent that you have beaten well twice in a short space of time, as complacency could creep in, but we will make sure the guys have their minds on the job when we meet Hong Kong again in Sunday's quarter-finals," Powell said afterwards.

The coach was pleased with the Day 1 effort, which saw the team cross the opposing try line 22 times and only conceding one try - against Hong Kong.

The goal kickers were equally accurate in their execution, converting 19 times, with Dewald Human slotted seven and Ronald Brown nine, respectively.

"The artificial surface allows for a nice bounce and the kickers can strike the ball pretty true," Powell explained.

"This also assisted greatly with our kick-offs, where we could really contest today and won back a number of contests. The guys spend a lot of time on the training ground to get it right and today got some good rewards in that department."

The Blitzboks were on song from the very first match against Mexico. No less than six players scored in an impressive win including James Murphy, who dotted down for the first time since making his debut for South Africa in April 2018.

Darren Adonis got a brace and Muller du Plessis scored the first of six on the day.

Against Hong Kong - in their second match - Du Plessis bagged two, alongside Siviwe Soyizwapi, who finished the day on 97 tries. The team conceded their only try against the island side after a yellow card to Zain Davids left then a man short.

Their final match in pool A was a clinical showing against Canada. Du Plessis again excelled, bagging a hat-trick of tries, while Selvyn Davids - who joined the team late in the week as a replacement for Angelo Davids, also eased into the tournament with a brace and a number of telling creative plays.

"The senior guys did well today and are showing the way and assisting our younger players very nicely. We had a good day, but all will start afresh on Sunday when we take on Hong Kong again," Powell said.

Quarter-final schedule for Edmonton Sevens:

All SA times

17:20 - USA v Great Britain

17:42 - Ireland v Canada

18:04 - Kenya v Germany

18:26 - South Africa v Hong Kong

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