Seabelo Senatla scored his 200th try as the Blitzboks beat France 31-5 on day one of the Cape Town Sevens. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Blitzboks were certainly made to work for this result. In the end, it was South Africa’s superior physicality and finishing that earned them their second win of the day.
France put the hosts under pressure in the early stages. South Africa were camped in their own 22 when Ruhan Nel broke the line and seared upfield. Thereafter, Kwagga Smith darted back inside to give his side the lead.
Poor defence allowed France to hit back. And yet the Blitzboks went to the break with a slender 7-5 lead.
South Africa dominated thereafter. Philip Snyman rounded the defence, and a successful conversion boosted the hosts into a 14-7 lead.
France impeded one time too many and conceded a yellow card. Branco du Preez put in a smart kick behind the defence, and Chris Dry raced through to score.
The big moment finally arrived with a minute to play when Justin Geduld found himself in space. Geduld opted – selflessly – to pass to Senatla, and the winger had enough pace to beat the defenders and score in the left-hand corner, much to the partisan crowd’s delight.
With that Senatla became the first South African to score 200 Sevens Series tries. He reached the milestone in his 35th tournament.
The Blitzboks weren’t done yet, though. Nel bashed his way through the defence in the final play to add yet another try to the hosts’ tally.
Blitzboks’ remaining fixture (Day 1)
vs Kenya (19:56)
RECORD! 200 tries is up for @Seabelo_Senatla, reaching that total in just 35 tournaments, the fastest ever for a player to reach that milestone in world series history #CapeTown7s ⚡️ ?? pic.twitter.com/KCu2LfMPY7
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) December 9, 2017
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Getty Images