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Impressive Blitzboks win twice in Wellington

Blitzbok

By Mark Etheridge

They went into the Wellington leg of the World Sevens Series with the best defence of the season and it showed as the Blitzboks kept a clean sheet in their opening two matches on Saturday.

The Olympic bronze medallists eased into the action against Japan, winning 33-0 against the Far Eastern nation. Tries came from Chris Dry, Werner Kok, Philip Snyman and there were two for Seabelo Senatla as he closes in on Fabien Juries’ SA try-scoring record.

Just over three hours later and they were back at it, this time against Australia and it was an even more impressive showing as they crossed for four unanswered tries and a 28-0 win.

So, two wins, two clean sheets and 61 points later amounted to an excellent start from coach Neil Powell’s men.

Against Australia, the Blitzboks came up against some slowed-down playing tactics and had to think out of the box.

The opening try came halfway through the first stanza as that jack-in-the-box that is Kok, opened up the Aussie defence with a great kick through. Speedster Senatla tore down the right before unselfishly opting to forego the five-pointer in favour of passing back inside to Kok. It gave Branco du Preez a far easier conversion.

And Du Preez, sporting some rainbow-coloured hair creations, nailed the two-pointer and didn’t miss from that point on.

Senatla was back in the thick of things near the end of the half, doing some sterling work to keep the Aussies out. Halftime came at 7-0.

The Aussies upped the tempo after the break and again it took a few minutes for the Blitzboks to cross the try line, this time some fine turn-over work from Shakes Soyizwapi making it 14-0.

The Blitzboks were in full flow now and it was another great kick by Rosko Specman which saw Dylan Sage with the easiest of finishes under the post.

Just to rub it in it was warhorse Dry who finished clinically after the hooter, his 78th try in World Series rugby putting the final nail into the Aussie coffin. A fine, angled conversion by Du Preez saw things through.

The win meant that South Africa have now won their last six matches against Australia.

The Blitzboks went into this leg of the tournament with the best defensive record of the competition to date with only 14 tries conceded.

Two games into Wellington and they are well on the way to maintaining that impressive  statistic.. but first they face old foes and reigning Olympic champions Fiji at 8.33am SA time on Saturday.


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