Johannesburg – The Springbok Sevens safely navigated a tricky pool to book their place in the knockout stage of round one of the Sevens World Series at the Gold Coast in Australia on Saturday.
The Blitzbokke Africa registered three victories on the opening day of the two-day event.
The team opened their Pool B fixtures with a 29-5 victory over France and then romped home with a 38-7 scoreline over Spain. They then won their pool decider 22-14 against England, scoring four tries in the process, booking their knockout match against Wales.
Against England, South Africa trailed early on in the first half after Tom Mitchell darted through for a converted try.
The men in green and gold hit back when first Stephan Dippenaar was fed by Stephen Hunt to dot down in the right-hand corner and then Cornal Hendricks used his power to burst through two tackles to score next to the upright.
Although Justin Geduld missed an easy conversion, it was South Africa who led 10-7 at half-time. Immediately after the restart, Geduld showed an impressive step and turn of speed to easily score a try which he himself converted.
With the Springbok Sevens dominating field and possession, Kyle Brown then found the gap to score South Africa's fourth try to put the game beyond England with just over a minute to spare.
Neil Powell, the new Blitzbokke coach, said it was a good first day at the office.
“It's been a great day, three wins from three, but if we don't come back tomorrow and play like we did tonight then it counts for nothing.
“I think there is a lot of character, only coming in two nights ago to come and play like this, I am really proud of them on day one,” he said. – Sapa