Blitzboks to face Wales in Cup quarters

The Blitzboks beat Scotland, Brazil and Argentina on day one of the Vancouver Sevens.

They began with a 43-0 thrashing of Scotland, before battling past Brazil 26-7 and scoring five tries to beat Argentina 27-0.

South Africa therefore finished top of their pool to advance to the Cup quarter-finals, where they will play Wales at 20:30 (SA time) on Sunday.

Neil Powell’s charges scored 16 tries in their three pool games, including four from flyer Seabelo Senatla, while only conceding one.

In the first game, a seven-try blitzkrieg saw South Africa thump Scotland. Scores by Justin Geduld, Ruan Nel, Rosco Speckman and Senatla gave the Blitzboks a 22-0 lead at the break.

Senatla dotted down again to finish with a brace, while Kwagga Smith and Branco du Preez also scored in the second half to compete the rout.

South Africa met a more resistance against Brazil, whose defence was better than Scotland’s. Luca Rodriguez put the South Americans on the board in the second minute and Moises Rodriguez converted.

However, a self-converted effort from Du Preez drew the Blitzboks level before Tim Agaba’s score on the stroke of half-time put South Africa in the ascendancy. After a number of substitutions, the Blitzboks went over for two more converted tries in the second stanza and defended well.

Against Argentina, the Blitzboks led 10-0 at half-time courtesy of two unconverted tries. They extended that advantage when Smith, Cecil Afrika and Senatla all crossed after the interval to round off the match.

'I'm glad we achieved our goal for day one, which was to top our pool,' said Powell. 'We made a fantastic start against Scotland, were perhaps not so clinical against Brazil but then made the step up against Argentina, who needed to win to qualify for the quarter-finals. We pride ourselves on our defence and I think we were outstanding in that department today.'

One area of concern for the Blitzboks is the goal-kicking. Of the 16 tries scored, they only managed to convert eight.

The Cup semi-finals will start at 00:08 on Monday (SA time) with the final at 02:55.

Photo: Don MacKinnon/AFP Photo

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