Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens side pulled off a neat win over Spain in their second match on day one of the Toulouse Sevens on Friday.
The Blitzboks’ Zain Davids sniped down touch to run in the opener, and Spain responded quickly to go 7-5 up.
Davids got his brace after good support play to put his team in the lead (10-7), and skipper Siviwe Soyizwapi stretched their lead with a try after a set piece (15-7).
Ever-busy Ronald Brown brilliantly assessed the situation to scoop up the ball and beat several defenders before finishing down the blindside (20-7).
After superb stepping by speedster Muller du Plessis, Davlon Blood introduced himself with the last try of the game to seal a 27-7 victory at Stade Ernest-Wallon.
Earlier in the day, the South Africans suffered a 12-21 loss to Ireland in their Pool D opener.
While they scored a try via Mfundo Ndhlovu to go 7-0 up in the second minute, it wasn’t enough to cleanse the palate of the disappointing outings in Singapore and Vancouver, where they finished seventh and fifth, respectively.
The South Africans went one man down when Davids copped a yellow, and the Irish used their numbers to run in their opener to level the scores (7-7) with Terry Kennedy going over.
Ireland ran in the first try of the second half, again through Kennedy, to lead 14-7, but the Blitzboks responded via Soyizwapi to narrow the margin (12-14).
Ireland ran in a top try by Jack Kelly and extended their lead to 21-12 with a third converted try. It proved enough to seal the win.
The Blitzboks face Samoa at 12.20pm in their final pool game on Saturday. The Springbok Women’s Sevens side, meanwhile, showed an improved performance in their second game on day one against the USA, losing 22-0.
The South Africans produced a praiseworthy defensive display against the USA, but they didn’t see much of the ball and when they did, their handling didn’t do them any favours. There was still much to be proud of, however, for the invitational side.
The USA went into the break with a 10-0 lead after two opening-half tries and built on that with two more in the second.
Earlier in the day, the SA Women side were swept away 50-0 by Australia who were playing their first match of the day.
The Springbok Women Sevens group knew it was never going to be easy in France – their first World Series tournament abroad since Dubai 2018 – given the quality of their opposition.
The very-green team were drawn in pool play with three of the top five sides in the world in Australia, USA and Fiji.
Australia were first up, and it took just 30 seconds for them to get busy, with Faith Nathan scoring.
Impact Player of the Series Charlotte Caslick showed her class when she secured a turnover before racing the length of the field to touch down. Nathan’s second and a brace to Maddison Levi put Tim Walsh’s side 31-0 up at the break as the opposition struggled with ball retention.
Bienne Terit built on their lead, before Caslick crossed for a second, and the co-captain capped off the win by completing her hat-trick.
The South Africans next face Fiji at 10.14am on Saturday in their final pool game.