Sevens

Clean sweep for Blitzboks on opening day of Canada Sevens

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South African coach Neil Powell
South African coach Neil Powell
Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The Blitzboks scored 20 tries in three matches on day one of the Canada Sevens and only conceded three as they delivered a strong performance in the opening tournament of the 2021 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The South Africans beat Mexico 53-0 in their opening match at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, scoring nine tries in the win and then added six more as they outplayed Spain 34-7. In their final match in Pool A, they stormed in a 28-0 lead against Kenya, before finally winning 33-14 to top the pool.

South Africa opened their campaign against Mexico, who received a late invite to the tournament and the preparedness between the sides showed from the start. Ronald Brown scored in the first minute already to hand the debutant the dream start to his World Series career.

Eight more tries followed, with four of those coming from Angelo Davids. The speedster scored in the fifth, seventh and ninth minutes of the first half while on the wing and again late in the second half when at hooker.

Brown, who made his World Series debut alongside Christie Grobbelaar, Darren Adonis and Shaun Williams, saw all three of his fellow debutants scoring in their first match for the Blitzboks, while Siviwe Soyizwapi scored his 94th try in the series. Dewald Human kicked four conversions.

Their match against Spain delivered six tries, with a number of World Series regulars getting on the score sheet. Ryan Oosthuizen, Muller du Plessis and Sako Makata all added to their career tallies, but it was Grobbelaar, Brown and Adonis who again showed good appetite to cross the tryline.

Coach Neil Powell used a more settled team to start against Spain and the 22-0 scoreline at half-time justified his decision. He could then give game time to the remainder of the squad, although he would not have been too happy about the try Spain scored 10 minutes into the match.

The pool decider against Kenya saw five tries scored by the Blitzboks, with four of those in a commanding first half performance. Du Plessis stepped his way past a number of defenders in the opening act of the half and three more tries followed in quick succession, racing the South Africans away to a 28-0 halftime lead.

This all but ended the contest, but credit to Kenya, who came back with two tries, before a JC Pretorius effort consolidated the result. The two tries conceded, as well as the one conceded against Spain will make sure they are not resting on their laurels on day two, Powell indicated.

The Blitzboks will face Spain again in the Cup quarter-finals on Sunday (04:26 SA time on Monday morning).

MATCH CENTRE

Scorers:

South Africa 53 (27), Mexico 0 (0)

South Africa - Tries: Angelo Davids (4), Christie Grobbelaar, Darren Adonis, Ronald Brown, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Shaun Williams. Conversions: Dewald Human (4).

South Africa 34 (22), Spain 7 (0)

South Africa - Tries: Christie Grobbelaar, Darren Adonis, Ronald Brown, Ryan Oosthuizen, Muller du Plessis, Sako Makata. Conversions: Dewald Human (2).

Spain – Try: Enrique Bolinches. Conversion: Juan Martinez

South Africa 33 (28), Kenya 14 (0)

South Africa – Tries: Muller du Plessis, Ryan Oosthuizen, Ronald Brown (2), JC Pretorius. Conversions: Dewald Human (4).

Kenya  - Tries: Alvin Otieno, Alvin Marube. Conversions: Daniel Taabu, Mark Kwemoi

- SA Rugby

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