The Blitzboks beat France 17-10 in the opening match of their Hong Kong Sevens campaign on Friday.
SA Rugby magazine’s Mariette Adams reports that coach Neil Powell will be far from happy with the scrappy opening performance from his charges, but in the end they did enough to be on the right end of the result.
The Blitzboks didn’t have much possession, but brilliant work at the breakdown by Dylan Sage led to turnover possession from which Siviwe Soyizwapi scored.
The scorer then turned provider soon after as his skip pass set up Branco du Preez to score the second for a 10-0 lead.
Two mistakes by the Blitzboks then saw France cross the line twice to level matters at 10-10 going into the break.
South Africa made a positive start to the second half and appeared to have broken the deadlock, but the referee ruled a forward pass occurred in the lead-up to Chris Dry’s effort.
It took a try from Cecil Afrika, who is playing in his 50th tournament, to separate the sides, and with Du Preez adding the conversion, France needed a converted try in the dying minutes to draw level.
However, South Africa’s defence held firm to seal a hard-fought win.
Photo: Sydney Hopkins/Getty Images