The Springbok Sevens overturned a half-time deficit to claim a 17-12 win over Kenya in their season-opening game at the Dubai Sevens on Thursday.
The Blitzboks’ 2019-20 season is under way. It was miles away from a perfect performance, but coach Neil Powell will be happy enough with the composure shown by his side to battle back from a 12-5 deficit.
For this opening tournament of the series, the Blitzboks welcomed back a host of star stalwarts, and Rosko Specman and Ruhan Nel provided a glimpse into the value they will add.
It all went to script early on when Ryan Oosthuizen scored the opening try for the Springbok Sevens, but Kenya hit right back with two quickfire tries to take a surprise 12-5 lead into the break.
Just after the restart, Specman showed some silky footwork to go over under the posts, though, while superstar Seabelo Senatla was then brought off the bench on his return to the sevens set-up.
It didn’t take him long to get straight back on to the score sheet as he dotted down in the corner, while some stern defence then enabled the South Africans to hold off their gutsy African counterparts.
The Blitzboks will next play Spain (11:48am, SA time) and England (5:54pm) on Friday.
Meanwhile, the SA Rugby Sevens Academy squad started off strongly at the Dubai Sevens International Invitational tournament as they comfortably thumped the Rambling Jesters 40-0 and French Military 22-0.
Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images