Blitzboks thrash Japan in CT Sevens opener

13 December 2019 - 21:05 By LIAM DEL CALME
Blitzboks team opened their Cape Town Sevens with a win over Japan on Friday might. File Photo
Blitzboks team opened their Cape Town Sevens with a win over Japan on Friday might. File Photo
Image: David Becker/Gallo Images

The Blitzboks made a winning start in their bid to claim a maiden World Sevens Series tournament in Cape Town by downing Japan 49-0 in their opener on Friday.

As expected they completely outclassed Japan who did not have the speed or the power to combat their opponents.

From early on it was clear the home team was going into the second day with an unblemished record.

Seabelo Senatla latched on to a loose ball and although his touchdown was a little less assured the try stood inside the first three minutes.

He added another in the second half to help stretch the hosts’ advantage in a comfortable win for the Blitzboks.

The result was never in doubt but they are likely to have stiffer Pool A opposition on the second day.

The Blitzboks main Pool A rivals Fiji and the United States went head to head in the penultimate match of the day.

Fiji bossed that contest from start to finish winning 28-14 to set up a mouth-watering clash with the Blitzboks on Saturday.

In other results New Zealand beat Wales 43-7, Scotland upset England 26-24, Kenya beat Samoa 24-19, while Ireland came from behind to pip Australia 26-21.

By comparison to what is likely to unfold over the weekend, the first day of this tournament was always going to be a little sedate.

It meant all manner of gimmicky, public engagement was going to be the order of the day.

The high ball catching competition returned and not without unscripted mishap.

A ball was dropped from 75m by a drone and a man in ancient Roman garb was supposed to catch it.

He duly positioned himself only to collide with a rake thin man wearing a Springbok mascot’s outfit who also had designs on catching the ball.

The ball bounced several times unclaimed.It was not the only time folk of the stands looked away.

The Imbokodo, the national women’s Sevens team crashed 40-0 to New Zealand in their opening match.

Trailing 21-0 at half-time Imbokodo made little impression in the second half as New Zealand romped home.

The Kiwis were quicker on the draw and were generally more alert when opportunity presented itself.

Although the South Africans pinned New Zealand in their half in the initial stages the Kiwis eventually broke free through a grubber up field and it was from that exit they got their backs off the wall.

They ran in three first half tries and streaked further ahead in the second.

Earlier in the day Australia crushed England in the first ever World Sevens Series women’s match on South African soil.

Ellia Green dotted down the first time try of the tournament and she was to prove the most influential player on the pitch.

Green was back in the act a minute or so later when she ran onto an inside pass and stole the march on her chasing opponents.Madison Ashby completed the 32-0 rout.

If Green made her mark in the opening match, then France’s Séraphine Okemba took matters by the scruff of the neck in France’s 36-12 win over Spain.

The strapping and dreadlocked Okemba made telling incursions into Spanish territory and was rewarded with a hat trick of tries for her efforts.

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