Springbok Sevens off to winning note in Dubai
December 01, 2017
The Springbok Sevens team opened their defence of the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on a positive note, finishing top of pool A on Day One of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series opener.

The Blitzboks beat Uganda 19-10, Kenya 48-5 and Canada 28-0 in a performance that picked up intensity as the side found momentum as the day progressed.

They face Samoa at 09h00 (SA time) in the Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, had mixed emotions following the clean sweep, but admitted that it was job done. "We were sloppy against Uganda in the opener, then played much better against Kenya and conceded no points against Canada in the final pool match. We improved as we progressed, but overall it was a day with mixed emotions," Powell indicated.

“It is a given that that we need to step up from the first game to the next and credit to the guys, they did that, something that makes me proud. It was not easy out there, but we kept on improving and I cannot ask for much more."

The team knows very well that Day Two will determine the success of their efforts in Dubai, said Powell.

"We need to step up. Samoa showed they are a team progressing all the time and we have to pitch up with our best effort. If not, we will not be defending our title," Powell said.

The average score between the sides are 18-14 and the Blitzboks won 43 of 69 matches played.

Earlier, the Blitzboks opened their HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title defence with a 19-10 win over Uganda on Day One of the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on Friday.

The South Africans scored three tries to two in an erratic start to their title defence of the opening leg of the World Series.

Ruhan Nel opened the scoring for the Blitzboks and team captain, Philip Snyman, followed soon after to give the SA side a 14-0 lead. Uganda scored just before the break.

South Africa extended their lead in the second half when Tim Agaba raced in, but Uganda had the last say with their second try.

In their match against Kenya, a hat-trick by Seabelo Senatla eased the Blitzboks in to a 48-5 win. Kenya scored first, but once Senatla broke the shackles, it was one way traffic.

Two tries by Senatla and another by Cecil Afrika had the South Africans in a comfortable 17-5 lead at the break.

In the second half, Senatla, Branco du Preez, Justin Geduld, Kwagga Smith and Rosko Specman all added to the scoresheet.

•The SA Rugby Sevens Academy also started their campaign in the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens International Invitational tournament on a winning note. They beat Monaco Impi 42-0, Canada Maple Leafs 33-5 and Samurai 31-7 in pool play.


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