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Blitzboks to face Samoa in Cup quarterfinals in Canada

Siviwe Soyizwapi of South Africa in action against Spain on day 1 of the HSBC Canada Sevens in Vancouver, Canada on April 16 2022.
Siviwe Soyizwapi of South Africa in action against Spain on day 1 of the HSBC Canada Sevens in Vancouver, Canada on April 16 2022.
Image: David Van Der Sandt/Gallo Images

The Springbok Sevens team started the defence of their HSBC Canada Sevens title on a strong note by beating Spain, Canada and Australia to top Pool C at BC Place in Vancouver on Saturday.

They will face Samoa in the Cup quarterfinals on Sunday evening (8.02pm SA time).

The Blitzboks started slowly against Spain but won 31-12 after conceding the first try of the match after a strong second half carried them through. They then conceded two quick tries against Canada before hitting back to win 19-14, and a late try against Australia sealed a well-deserved 22-19 victory.

Spain scored first and last in the match that saw the South Africans cross the try line five times in what turned out an efficient, rather than a spectacular performance.

Coming off three consecutive defeats in Singapore last weekend, the Blitzboks took a few minutes to hit their stride in the sixth tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and even conceded an early try to a competitive Spanish outfit.

Their attacking abilities came to the fore after that, and SA scored three times in the first half and twice in the second to ease into the rest of the tournament.

Spain, who scored a famous win over the All Blacks Sevens at the same venue three seasons back, proved a handful, but also the ideal opponent to get the Blitzboks back to winning ways.

Against Canada, SA were 12-0 up at the break and in control as the hosts made a number of errors in first phase play.

The Blitzboks played a controlled game and after a few intrusive plays on attack, JC Pretorius was worked into space for a 5-0 lead. Ronald Brown scored a well-worked try just before the break and converted for a 12-0 lead.

Canada shocked the Blitzboks in the early exchanges of the second half, scoring two converted tries within a minute to take an unexpected 14-12 lead.

The South Africans, without the injured Ryan Oosthuizen (calf) and Darren Adonis (ankle), kept their cool however and Selvyn Davids scored under the sticks soon after to restore the lead. Their defence then countered a last Canadian attack to secure the win.

The final pool match against Australia proved a real humdinger, with both sides scoring a number of long-range tries.

SA were on the board in the opening play, with Ronald Brown going over in the corner for a 5-0 lead. That was short-lived however, as Ben Marr scored a converted try to hand the lead back to Australia.

Brown got a second soon after Zain Davids ran strongly, but again the Aussies struck back almost immediately with a try that started close to their own try line. This time Matthew Gonzalez scored and with the conversion, they had a 14-10 lead at the break.

The men from Down Under also got the next score, again from way out, with Nick Malouf dotting down for a 19-10 lead early in the second half. Zain Davids pulled one back with a strong barge and the conversion by Shaun Williams cut the deficit to two points.

That was wiped out one minute from time with JC Pretorius scoring after a good offload by Siviwe Soyizwapi. The South Africans then held out for a well-deserved win.

Scorers:

SA 31 (19), Spain 12 (7)

SA — Tries: Darren Adonis, Siviwe Soyizwapi (2), Dewald Human, Impi Visser. Conversions: Human (3).

Spain — Tries: Eduardo Lopez, Tiago Romero. Conversion: Juan Martinez.

SA 19 (12), Canada 14 (0)

SA — Tries: JC Pretorius, Ronald Brown, Selvyn Davids. Conversions: Brown, Shaun Williams.

Canada — Tries: David Richard, Cooper Coats. Conversions: Coats (2).

SA 22 (10), Australia 19 (14)

SA — Tries: Ronald Brown (2), Zain Davids, JC Pretorius. Conversion: Shaun Williams.

Australia — Tries: Ben Marr, Matthew Gonzalez, Nick Malouf. Conversions: Dietrich Roache (2).


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