Blitzbokke keep clean sheet

All of the Blitzbokke, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand reached the Cup quarter-finals of the Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens with 100% records at the end of day one.

Paul Treu’s side went one better though, having not conceded a single point with 33-0, 45-0 and 26-0 victories against Canada, Kenya and Australia respectively.

England reached the last eight with a 19-0 victory against Argentina, and join France, Australia and Wales as pool runners-up.

The key match for the Blitzbokke was the final one of the evening, where both teams were playing for the right NOT to take on the in form All Blacks in the quarters … Knowing this, both teams were fairly circumspect, often electing to kick for field position in the first half. The legend that is Cecil Afrika, so key to the South African cause, and back in the side after missing the Dubai leg, finally broke through the tight Aussie defence on the stroke of halftime to give the home team a narrow lead at the break.

South Africa then changed tack in the second half, and keeping ball in hand, produced a few entertaining tries the relatively small crowd had come to see, the end result being a comprehensive win. Mark Richards scored twice while Steven Hunt capped a good individual performance with his sixth try of the day.

Paul Treu had this to say: “We missed too many tackles at the Gold Coast and our focus was to rectify that today and to protect our ball much better when going forward.

“I am pleased with the overall effort, but France showed the past two weeks that they can be very dangerous so we will have to maintain our discipline. The home crowd was fantastic today and we are looking forward to play in front of an estimated 30 000 supporters tomorrow.”

South Africa 45, Kenya 0

Hunt scored four tries, taking his tally to five on day one. Crowd favourite Afrika had the 11 000 fans on their feet with a typical solo effort, while Richards and Boom Prinsloo also dotted down. Branco du Preez, looking at ease inside attacking partner Afrika, slotted five conversions.

South Africa 33, Canada 0

A clinical 33-0 win over Canada for the Blitzbokke … Du Preez, Chris Dry, Hunt, Cornal Hendricks and Richards all scored a try each as the hosts won their outing comfortably. Hendricks scored with his first touch of the ball to get his name on the scoreboard on his international debut.


So while the South Africans lead the African charge, a concern has to be the regression seen from the other African teams on display in PE. None of Zimbabwe, Kenya or Morocco were able to register a single victory. Kenya especially, being one of the sides to seemingly have embraced the shorter form of the game in recent times, suddenly seem way out of their depth again. Perhaps the fact that Sevens is now an Olympic sport has motivated other sides to throw some resources at their national teams?

Regarding the “Small” crowd … I see there were a couple of nasty jibes on Twitter, with a few Capetonians suggesting that the crowd would have been a lot bigger at the Cape Town stadium. It has to be slightly concerning for SARU, but one must not forget, though, that this is the first time the SA Sevens is being held in a massive 50 000 seater stadium. Friday’s crowd would certainly have filled the smaller Outeniqua Park in George, and not many of the international legs manage to fill the big stadia, especially on the Friday. It also happened to be a fairly nippy and windy evening in the friendly, err windy, city … Let’s see how the people of PE turn out today before making judgment …


The Cup quarter-final draw is:
Samoa vs. Wales
South Africa vs. France
Fiji vs. England
New Zealand vs. Australia


Friday’s results:

Pool A

England 26, USA 7; Argentina 5, Samoa 17; England 14, Samoa 24; Argentina 14, USA 21; USA 12, Samoa 14; England 19, Argentina 0

Pool B

France 31, Scotland 7; New Zealand 39, Morocco 7; France 19, Morocco 7; New Zealand 45, Scotland 0; Scotland 50, Morocco 0; New Zealand 41, France 0

Pool C

South Africa 33, Canada 0; Australia 31, Kenya 14; South Africa 45, Kenya 0; Australia 33, Canada 10; Canada 26, Kenya 5

Pool D

Fiji 31, Portugal 7; Wales 42, Zimbabwe 7; Fiji 42, Zimbabwe 17; Wales 34, Portugal 7; Portugal 24, Zimbabwe 12; Fiji 29, Wales 14


Saturday’s Full Fixtures:

11:16 UNITED STATES v ZIMBABWE 1/4 final Bowl
 11:38 CANADA v MOROCCO 1/4 final Bowl
12:00 PORTUGAL v ARGENTINA 1/4 final Bowl
12:22 SCOTLAND v KENYA 1/4 final Bowl
12:44 SAMOA v WALES 1/4 final Cup
13:06 SOUTH AFRICA v FRANCE 1/4 final Cup
13:28 FIJI v ENGLAND 1/4 final Cup
13:50 NEW ZEALAND v AUSTRALIA 1/4 final Cup
14:27 Loser Game 25 v Loser Game 26 SF Shield
14:49 Loser Game 27 v Loser Game 28 SF Shield
15:11 Winner Game 25 v Winner Game 26 SF Bowl
 15:33 Winner Game 27 v Winner Game 28 SF Bowl
16:15 Loser Game 29 v Loser Game 30 SF Plate
16:37 Loser Game 31 v Loser Game 32 SF Plate
16:59 Winner Game 29 v Winner Game 30 SF Cup
17:21 Winner Game 31 v Winner Game 32 SF Cup
17:53 Winner Game 33 v Winner Game 34 Final Shield
18:18 Winner Game 35 v Winner Game 36 Final Bowl
18:43 Winner Game 37 v Winner Game 38 Final Plate
19:08 Loser Game 39 v Loser Game 40 Bronze medal
19:40 Winner Game 39 v Winner Game 40 Final


Four try hero
Stephen Hunt