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Blitzboks beat Fiji and stay unbeaten in Wellington

By Mark Etheridge

The Blitzboks ended day one of the Wellington leg of the World Sevens Series just as they started it on Saturday… on a winning note.

They wrapped up a good day at the office with a convincing 31-12 victory over arch-rivals Fiji. That came on the back of 33-0 and 28-0 wins over Japan and Australia respectively.

It was just over a minute into the action that the Blitzboks struck, Werner Kok crashing over to the right of the poles.

Two high tackles in the build-up to the try saw referee Richard Kelly (in his 150th sevens match) sending off Fiji’s Ravouvou for a two-minute penalty.

The Blitzboks needed no invitation to cash in on the opportunity with 4:16 to go, smart thinking and a quickly taken line-out saw Justin Geduld stretching the Fijian defence and Seabelo Senatla was over for his 175th try in World Series rugby.

There was more joy for the South Africans as they crossed for a third. This time it was Geduld after a turnover.

That saw the Blitzboks leading 17-0 but Fiji ensured they were still in the contest with a great try for speedster Jerry Tuwai, started inside his own half. Ravouvou, back after his suspension, landed the acutely angled conversion.

The Fijians started where they left off and lengthy passage of play, featuring a string of missed tackles by the South Africans, saw the islanders pull back to 17-12 through Lutumailagi

Keen to continue their momentum, Fiji threw caution to the wind and after some broken play a wild pass saw Senatla ghost in from nowhere to scoop the ball up and trot untouched over the line and dot down under the post.

That was the end of his day-one action and he’ll go to sleep knowing he’s just three shy of the SA sevens try-scoring record of Fabian Juries (179).

Replacement Shakes Soyizwapi then knocked on when a try seemed certain but it wasn’t long before he had a second crack and Geduld release him to score in the right hand corner.

That saw the score at 29-12 and Geduld fittingly landed the final conversion to make it 31-12.

Skipper Philip Snyman praised his team. ‘We just wanted to lay that foundation and then keep building on it. We did just that and I’m very happy. It was also nice to have all our debutants getting some game time on day one.

‘We pride ourselves on our defence so that fact that couldn’t keep Fiji scoreless tells us we still have some work to do.. there’s always stuff you can work on in defence.’


3 comments
Bethany Hamman
Bethany Hamman

Rebekah Hawthorne its both of our countries!!!! \U0001f603\U0001f632

Glynis Mauldon
Glynis Mauldon

Great news guys...stay focused and treat every game as if it is a final....