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Late red card but Blitzboks hold out for nervy victory over Ireland at Hong Kong Sevens

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The Blitzboks did the business against Ireland, barring a nervous finish, in their opening match of the Hong Kong Sevens on Friday.

South Africa sevens player Selvyn Davids with the ball
The Blitzboks did the business against Ireland, barring a nervous finish, in their opening match of the Hong Kong Sevens on Friday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Media

The Blitzboks held out for a nervy 22-17 victory over Ireland in their opening match of the Hong Kong Sevens on Friday.

Shilton van Wyk opened the scoring for the Blitzboks with an explosive run starting on the halfway line and straight through a gap before dotting down next to the posts to open up a 7-0 lead.

The South Africans made sure they were next to score, as an attacking scrum in the Ireland 22 saw Selvyn Davids provide a quick offload for Dewald Human who darted over in the corner for the score.

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Just before the break, speedster Quewin Nortje received the ball on the wing on the halfway line, and with just one defender to beat he showed his exceptional pace to surge down the field for the try.

South Africa enjoyed a healthy 17-0 lead at the break.

The Blitzboks worked a few phases in the Ireland 22 after the interval, before Ryan Oosthuizen received the ball a couple metres from an open tryline and he obliged with the simplest of tries (22-0).

With just under five minutes remaining in the clash, Zac Ward powered through a tackle to score Ireland’s first try of the contest (22-7).

With Justin Geduld red-carded with three minutes left, Ireland kept up the pressure with a scrum in the SA 22 and Bryan Mollen was quickly over for the try (22-12).

As the clock hit 30 seconds remaining, Niall Comerford finished off a well-worked move to score and see his side move within five at 22-17 down.

From the resultant kick-off, Ireland fumbled and South Africa were able to deny Ireland an incredible comeback.

On the women’s side, South Africa went down 20-7 to Ireland after remaining competitive for most of the clash.

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