The Blitzboks defeated Kenya 12-10 in their first pool match at the London Sevens on Saturday.
With the World Rugby Sevens Series title already in the bag for Neil Powell’s men, Rosco Speckman confirmed the team’s desire to express themselves in the last event on the sevens calendar. However, they did not get the chance to do so against their African opponents, but still managed to come away with a win.
Kenya played well, while a few uncharacteristic errors crept into the Blitzboks’ game, especially on defence. In the third minute, Siviwe Soyizwapi was yellow-carded for making a try-saving tackle from an offside position and Kenya, through Billy Obhiambo, scored the first try.
The Blitzboks didn’t panic and after a patient build-up, Ruhan Nel stepped off both feet to bamboozle three tacklers before dotting down to draw the teams level just before half-time.
Kenya started the second half brightly, but from turnover possession close to the Blitzboks’ tryline, Speckman picked the ball up from the base of a ruck, spotted a gaping hole in the defence in front of him and set off on a blistering run to score at the other end. Cecil Africa added the conversion.
Kenya had the final say with a late try by Nelson Oyoo, but Dylan Sage tracked back brilliantly to prevent him from running in under the posts, which made the match-defining conversion more difficult for the kicker. The conversion was missed, handing the Blitzboks a slender victory.
REMAINING FIXTURE (DAY 1)
vs Wales (15:24)
vs USA (18:30)