CAPE TOWN – It was fitting that when Seabelo Senatla scored his 200th career World Sevens Series try on Saturday, he set yet another record.
Coming towards the end of a convincing 31-5 victory over France that sent the Blitzboks into the Cape Town Sevens Cup quarter-finals, speedster Senatla became the fastest ever to reach that milestone, in just 35 tournaments.
He is the fifth player in the history of the World Sevens Series to dot down 200 times.
But of course with Neil Powell’s Blitzboks, it is the sum of the parts that make up a fearsome whole.
They battled to master the blustery wind at the Cape Town Stadium at times with a couple of ill-advised long passes, which saw the South Africans lead by just 7-5 at halftime.
The opening five-pointer from Kwagga Smith, who was a beneficiary of Ruhan Nel’s breathtaking break from inside his 22.
Nel nearly went all the way, but after being dragged down just short of the line, the ball was spun wide for Smith to barge through.
The French, though, proved to be plucky opponents, and had the Blitzbok defence scrambling at times.
They were duly rewarded when a break-out from near their own line – and a couple of missed Blitzbok tackles – saw Stephen Parez to tumble over.
Captain Philip Snyman then took charge, and made up for a knock-on seconds earlier to grab the second try for the hosts after halftime.
Branco du Preez’s outstanding conversion from the touchline gave the Blitzboks some breathing space at 14-5, and a yellow card to France’s Thibault Mazzoleni for a deliberate knock-down helped relieve the pressure some more.
The gaps opened up and Chris Dry showed good skill to pick the ball up in front of an open line, and then the big moment came when Senatla got the big No 200.
There was still time for one more spectacular moment to cheer for the boisterous home crowd when Nel produced two massive hand-offs in a row to rumble over for the fifth try.
South Africa 31 (7) – Tries: Kwagga Smith, Philip Snyman, Chris Dry, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel. Conversions: Branco du Preez (2), Justin Geduld (1).
France 5 (5) – Try: Stephen Parez.