The Blitzboks had to dig deep to claim a hard-fought 19-12 win over Samoa at the Dubai Sevens on Friday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
The Springbok Sevens kicked off day one with a comfortable 31-0 win over Zimbabwe, but they did lack their usual attacking precision at times.
That early-season rustiness was carried over into the first half of the clash against Samoa, with a couple of uncharacteristic errors proving costly early on, while the Blitzboks also conceded two penalties at the breakdown.
It took all of six minutes before South Africa finally opened the scoring when a well-weighted cross kick found Siviwe Soyizwapi, but Samoa struck back through Johnny Vaili with the final play of the half to level the scores.
#Dubai7s – RESULT:
South Africa 19-12 Samoa
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) November 30, 2018
However, the Blitzboks managed to settle some nerves when stalwart Werner Kok displayed great strength to burst away for an important try as the contest headed into the final three minutes.
Against the run of play, Samoa again responded with an intercept try, but the Springbok Sevens finally sealed the result when Muller du Plessis was put away to score in the corner.
The Blitzboks will take on Argentina in the final game of day one at 5:53pm on Friday.
Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images