England beat South Africa 21-14 in their Pool B clash on the opening day of the Hong Kong Sevens.
While England were brilliant from start to finish, South Africa were woeful: defensively poor, flat-footed on attack and ill-disciplined.
Both Phil Burgess and speedster Dan Norton outsprinted the South African defence to cross for early tries to hand England a 14-0 lead. Seabelo Senatla narrowed the deficit with a converted try, against the run of play.
Things went from bad to worse for the Springbok Sevens early in the second half. Senatla was not only sin-binned, but also conceded a penalty try for impeding Norton right on the tryline, which prevented the player from scoring a certain five-pointer.
Philip Snyman cut the England defence open with a brilliant running line and Geduld nailed the difficult conversion to bring them back within seven. And with an attacking lineout with seconds remaining, Neil Powell's charges were in with a shot to snatch a draw. But England contested and won the lineout against the throw and cleared the ball into touch to secure the win.
The Blitzboks will now have to beat both Russia and Scotland in their remaining pool games on Saturday to qualify for the Cup quarters.
Photo: Martin Seras Lima/HSBC Sevens