Home Sport Rugby A much better run in Canada for Blitzboks

A much better run in Canada for Blitzboks

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The top-ranked side pulled one back with a converted try, but another by Pretorius confirmed the win

Picture: Ryan Wilkisky BackpagePix

The Springbok Sevens team delivered an encouraging performance on the opening day of the HSBC Canada Sevens in BC Place, Vancouver, winning all three their Pool A matches, including a great victory over the USA, the current HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leaders.

At the time of going to press last night South Africa were due to face Argentina in the Cup quarter-finals of the tournament after wins over Chile (43-0), Wales (19-10) and the USA (19-7).

The South Africans scored 13 tries and conceded just three.

The match against Argentina kicked off last night just after 8pm (SA time). The Blitzboks last met the Argentinians in Sydney, where South Africa won 25-10 in pool play, but with the South Americans finishing in the top four last weekend in Las Vegas, Blitzbok coach Neil Powell was wary of the fact that his team would have to dig deep in Vancouver.

“We played well today (on Saturday) and it was probably our best performance on the opening day of a tournament since the series started – I think it was the first time where we won all three our pool matches,” said Powell.

“The guys really looked out well for one another, especially on defence. We stuck to our processes and it worked, but where we did not do so, the squad had each other’s back and that was pretty pleasing.”

It was a good start, but Powell knows his team can still improve: “We are developing and improving as a side and we did that yet again today. We want to judge ourselves on our own effort and development, so it was a good one in that regard, but we will always strive to do better.”

South Africa scored seven tries against Chile in their opening match, winning 43-0 and showing a huge improvement from last weekend, where they drew 5-5 in Las Vegas.

JC Pretorius scored in the opening play and got a second as well, with Siviwe Soyizwapi and Selvyn Davids also getting a brace each. Muller du Plessis scored a late try, with Davids converting four of those for a personal contribution of 18 points.

The match against Wales was a much tighter affair. The Welsh took an early 5-0 lead before Philip Snyman’s 67th career try equalled things out. Tries by Davids and Pretorius either side of half-time secured a 19-10 win. Davids added two conversions.

A strong defensive effort against the USA aided the 19-7 win. Pretorius again scored first for the Blitzboks before Stedman Gans raced through for a 14-0 lead at the break.

The top-ranked side pulled one back with a converted try, but another by Pretorius confirmed the win.