LONDON – South Africa's Blitzboks got their HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament off to a winning start after they thumped Japan 49-0 in a Pool A match in London, England on Saturday.
Led out on to the field by Branco du Preez, who set a SA record in competing in his 70th world sevens tournament, it took just two minutes before Kurt-Lee Arendse turned on the pace to penetrate the Japanese defence.
This stunned the Asian side and worse was to follow for them with Du Preez, Justin Geduld and Siviwe Soyizwapi all dotting down in the first half. Aided by the accurate conversion kicking of Du Preez, the Blitzboks led 28-0 at the break.
The Japanese simply had no defensive answer against the Blitzboks, who seemed to create space at will, as they made the best of overwhelming ball possession.
An example of this was some great offloading work early in the second half and this saw Selvyn Davids cruise through for a five-pointer, adding the conversion himself to increase the scoreline to 35-0.
Late in the match, the SA side continued to run at angles and at speed, with Arendse's second try being an example of this. Davids converted to take the lead to 42-0.
Sakoyisa Makata added the score when he touched down for Davids to convert. The match ended with the South Africans just one point shy of fifty.
The Blitzboks will return to the hallowed Twickenham later on Saturday for Pool A action against Canada and Argentina.
African News Agency (ANA)