South Africa went unbeaten on day one of the Dubai Sevens to secure top spot in Pool D.
The Blitzboks made the most of their favourable draw and extended preparations, as they got through the first day unscathed under the sweltering sun in the UAE.
They opened their account with a clinical 36-0 victory over Portugal, with the irrepressive Werner Kok running in a hat-trick – his first in the World Sevens Series.
However, they let their levels slip somewhat against Canada, as second-half tries from Branco du Preez and Seabelo Senatla helped secure a scrappy 24-12 win.
After falling behind in their final pool match against Wales, Neil Powell's team fought back to secure a narrow 12-5 win. Powell wouldn't have been happy with the number of penalties given away at the breakdown, but their defence held firm in the face of a late Welsh onslaught.
Blitzboks results (Day 1):
Beat Portugal 36-0
Beat Canada 24-12
Beat Wales 12-5
Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images