The Blitzboks kicked off their Sevens Series title defense with an unimpressive 19-10 win over Uganda on day one of the Dubai Sevens on Friday.
Despite a few brilliant runs from Cecil Afrika and determined defence by Chris Dry, there were clear signs of rustiness as the reigning champions delivered a stop-start performance in their first outing of the new season.
Prior to this match, there have been four games between the sides with Uganda failing a scored a point against their continental neighbors in every one of them. On Friday, they broke that curse by crossing for two second half scores.
Within seconds of the kick off, solid defense by Dry won possession back for the Blitzboks. From a lineout, they spread the ball to playmaker Afrika, who ran an angled line and laid the ball in Ruhan Nel’s hands to score.
Next to dot down was captain Philip Snyman, who bulldozed his way past two tacklers for a try behind the posts. Branco du Preez converted on both occasions for a 14-0 lead at the break.
Uganda were much better in the second half, while the Blitzboks’ defense was uncharacteristically sloppy. Uganda scored twice, but luckily Tim Agaba’s effort – originating from probing run by Africa – kept the Blitzboks two scores ahead to win the game.
The Blitzboks’ next fixture on day one of the Dubai Sevens will be against Kenya at 12:36 SA time.
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