Blitzboks battle past USA

Seabelo Senatla scored a brace of tries as the Blitzboks battled to a 19-17 win over the USA at the Dubai Sevens on Friday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

The Blitzboks started the opening day's play with a resounding win over Uganda before powering past Scotland to put themselves in prime position to finish top of their group, with that outcome confirmed in a hard-fought final pool game.

As expected, USA did put up a brave fight, but South Africa were ultimately too strong. Having said that, they will know that a vast improvement will be required as they head into the business end of the tournament.

The Springbok Sevens looked to have set the tone within the opening minute against the USA as Cecil Afrika ran a good line to break through the defence to score under the posts, while a typical piece of Senatla magic saw them double their lead just a couple of minutes later.

However, the USA did well to hit back just before the break when their flyer Perry Baker displayed some impressive football skills to repeatedly boot the ball ahead before dotting down.

America would also be the first to score after the break as Stephen Tomasin showed a clean pair of heels to suddenly reduce the deficit to just four points.

Nevertheless, the result was effectively sealed with two minutes remaining as the Blitzboks pounced on an error from the USA to snatch possession and put Senatla away for his sixth try on day one.

Baker did score a late consolation try, but it was not enough to deny the Blitzboks an unbeaten start to day one of the Dubai Sevens.

Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis