Seabelo Senatla scored four tries as South Africa thumped England 24-5 in their Pool C clash on day one of the Paris Sevens. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
For the second time in three tournaments the Springbok Sevens were drawn in the same group as England. But unlike their poor display which resulted in a 21-14 defeat at the Hong Kong Sevens, the Blitzboks were full value for their win on Friday.
England were first to score, but it was the Senatla show thereafter as the flyer punched holes in the defence from all over the park.
South Africa failed to secure possession from the kick-off and the mistake led to Charlie Hayter opening the score in under 30 seconds to put England 5-0 up.
England deprived the Blitzboks of possession, but they couldn’t get out of their half because of South Africa’s aggressive defending. This forced an error via a loose pass to nobody in particular and Senatla swooped to draw his team level and Cecil Afrika kicked the conversion for the lead.
England were under the cosh for the remainder of the half, but their scramble defence did well to keep the Bltzboks out. Senatla, however, undid all their hard work when he cantered in for his second after the half-time hooter had sounded to make the Blitzboks lead 14-5.
The early parts of second half were evenly contested as neither side could find a way through to the tryline, but as they did throughout the first stanza, England struggled to negotiate the pace of Senatla.
He struck a double blow in the fifth and sixth minutes of the second half to bring his tally to four tries and make the game safe for South Africa.
The Blitzboks will face Brazil and Australia in their remaining Pool C matches on Saturday.
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