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Rugby | Sevens

Cornal Hendricks © Gallo Images

Horror start for Blitzbokke



The Springbok Sevens team endured a horror start to their Wellington Sevens campaign, losing both their opening matches and killing off any chance they may have of playing in the Cup on day two.

The Blitzbokke started off well, rushing to a 10-0 lead in their opening game against Samoa, but in an intensely physical match couldn’t keep up the pace and let in three second-half tries to go down 19-10 to the Dubai Sevens champions.

Then in their second game, the Blitzbokke fell to a new low, losing 26-15 to Canada in a one-sided game where the scoreline flattered the Boks somewhat.

Canada scored from the start as the Blitzbokke couldn’t field the kickoff and led 7-5 at the break, but then with more mistakes and a failure to control the kickoffs in the second half, Canada scored three quick tries to down any chance the Boks had of coming back.

Not even a late score by debutant Seabelo Senatla could help the men in Green and Gold, and only served to make the scoreline look more respectable.

Against Samoa, Philip Snyman and Cornal Henricks scored the early tries, but it was negated by tries in the second half by Alatasi Tupou, Patrick Faapale and Robert Lilomaiava, with Tupou’s try in particular a sensational display of dazzling footwork.

Against Canada, Hendricks and Chris Dry scored, with Senatla’s try being the only other touchdown, while Canada’s tries were scored by Sean Duke(2), Nathan Hirayama and John Moonlight.

In both their matches thus far, the Blitzbokke could not convert any of their tries.

Their final pool game is against Wales, who earlier beat Canada 26-17 but lost 19-12 to Samoa. The game will be shown live on SuperSport at 10.44am CAT (SA, GMT+2).

In other morning action, hosts New Zealand were shocked by a Matt Turner-inspired England, going down 17-14 as the former UCT player returned to action and made a world of difference to the English side. The other big shock of the day was Scotland, who beat Fiji 14-12 in their opening game.

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