Singapore Sevens: BlitzBoks set up date with Kenya

Sat, 28 Apr 2018 13:13
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SATURDAY WRAP: The Springbok Sevens team will face Kenya in the Singapore Sevens Cup quarterfinals on Sunday.

But the BlitzBoks will take to the field at the National Stadium without skipper Kyle Brown and World Rugby Player of the Year 2017 nominee, Rosko Specman.

Specman injured his shoulder in the first match of the day against Samoa and ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. James Murphy, the travelling reserve player, replaced him.

The BlitzBoks overcame Samoa 26-15 and Canada 26-12 to qualify for the quarters, but still have to beat Argentina to remain unbeaten on Day One. They did that, winning 26-12, but unfortunately saw Brown been stretchered off after a knee injury.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, said the loss of two of his stalwarts is a setback but creates an opportunity for the next player.

"We knew coming into the tournament that we were in a very physical pool, but losing Rosko and Kyle is a real setback, especially due to the experience they provided. There is a nice opportunity now for the players stepping into their roles. We will be watching on with interest on how they do on Sunday,"

The coach was pleased with Day One’s overall performances.

"I am happy with our performances overall. We defended well and the guys trusted the system. We are still not as sharp on attack; we need to keep the ball a bit more,"

Against Samoa, the Blitzboks were held in check in the first half by the Samoans, who managed to keep the ball in contact for some time. Werner Kok raced from way out to put SA on the board before Siviwe Soyizwapi added a second. Samoa pulled one back, but tries by Rosko Specman and Muller du Plessis eased out the game.

Specman, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, unfortunately, sustained a shoulder injury in his dive to the line.

Against Canada, the defending champions scored first to go 7-0 up, but tries by Soyizwapi and Afrika grabbed the lead back at halftime, 14-7. Canada scored again after the restart, but a brace by Selvyn Davids confirmed a good win.

The match against Argentina was a hard-fought affair, with the South American side needing to win to stay in the Cup competition.

Tries by Siviwe Soyizwapi (his 50th in the World Series) and Werner Kok has South Africa 12-0 up, but two quick-tries by Argentina has the scores tied up 12-all at the break.

The second half saw firm defence from the Blitzboks and two crucial interventions from Selvyn Davids. He first darted around a ruck to score before kicking downfield and allowing Muller du Plessis to show his pace and score.

Soyizwapi said he did not know the upcoming milestone.

"I was not counting, to be honest, but playing with good teammates such as these around you, I am fortunate to finish off some of their work."

Soyizwapi scored his first try against Russia on debut in 2016 in Hong Kong and found his 50th as pleasing. "I remember that first one as if yesterday, as I will the 50th," he said.

England will face Samoa in the Cup quarter-final on day two at the National Stadium.

England topped Pool B on the first day with victories over Kenya, USA and France.

Commenting on day one, England Sevens captain Tom Mitchell, said: "We had three really tough games today and the boys put in three really clinical performances.

"It’s always difficult out here in the heat and playing in these conditions but the boys worked really hard and the attitude was spot on.

"We’re looking forward to getting back out here again tomorrow in our Cup quarter-final against Samoa,"

Australi topped their group after wins over Wales, Commonwealth Games champions New Zealand and Scotland.

The results meant that Aussies set up a quarterfinal clash with Fiji. While New Zealand - who finished second - will take on Fiji on Day two.

Saturday's results:

Fiji 33-5 Spain
Russia 19-26 Japan
Kenya 33-14 USA
France 0-39 England
South Africa 26-12 Argentina
Canada 19-22 Samoa
New Zealand 22-12 Scotland
Australia 38-0 Wales
Fiji 29-7 Russia
Spain 22-12 France
USA 14-19 England
South Africa 26-12 Canada
Argentina 14-31 Samoa
New Zealand 12-19 Australia
Scotland 33-14 Wales
Fiji 45-12  Japan
Spain 38-5 Russia
Kenya 19-28 England
USA 33-12 France
South Africa 26-5 Samoa
Argentina 14-26 Canada
New Zealand 32-7 Wales
Scotland 20-24 Australia

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Pool 0
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Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Uruguay 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
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Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 19
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England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
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Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
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Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
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New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
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United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
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South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
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Wales Sevens
South Korea