Fri 29 Jul 2022 | 05:39

BlitzBoks cruise into Commonwealth quarters

BlitzBoks cruise into Commonwealth quarters
Fri 29 Jul 2022 | 05:39
BlitzBoks cruise into Commonwealth quarters
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COMMONWEALTH GAMES DAY ONE WRAP: South Africa qualified for the Cup quarterfinals.

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The BlitzBoks beat Tonga (36-5) and Malaysia (46-0) in their two Pool B games in Birmingham on Friday.

South Africa was in control for most of their two games on Friday and did exactly what was needed to progress to the knock-out phase of the competition, scoring 14 tries in total on the opening day.

Their defensive systems were also tested, but the BlitzBoks conceded only one try.

“We had a slow start in the first game against Malaysia, and we asked the guys to make a step up against Tonga, especially in terms of physicality, and I think they did that really well,” BlitzBok coach Neil Powell said.

“Unfortunately, we conceded the one try, which was disappointing because we pride ourselves on our defence, but I think it was a massive step-up from the first game, and hopefully we can improve on that when we play Scotland [on Saturday].

“The last time we played Scotland, we lost and hopefully we learned something from that experience. For us to top our pool, we thought it was probably going to come down to this game, so we already had a look at them and hopefully the guys will be up for it.”

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In their first match against Tonga since 2019, South Africa had the perfect start, with team captain Siviwe Soyizwapi going over after just 21 seconds after a deft kick by Muller du Plessis. Christie Grobbelaar added two more first-half tries, while Tonga hit back with a five-pointer on the stroke of half-time to hand SA a 17-5 lead at the break.

JC Pretorius and Sako Makata added tries in the first three minutes of the second half to stretch SA’s lead to 29-5, but they then lost Mfundo Ndhlovu to a dangerous tackle by Tonga’s John Ika, who was red carded.

After Ndhlovu was stretchered off the field, Dewald Human had the final say with a try, which he converted himself to seal the deal for SA.

“We would have loved to get Mfundo onto the park a bit more as he recently returned from a serious injury, but it looks like he took a bad shot to his jaw, and he will probably be out for the rest of the tournament, although we’ve not seen the final medical assessment yet,” added Powell.

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Soyizwapi said: “We are happy with the results, but we will have to take a look at both games as we made a few errors and it wasn’t the clinical performance we were looking for, but it was a good day and we have something to build on with a lot of positives.”

* (Continie below …)

Day One results

Pool A
New Zealand 63-5 Sri Lanka
England 0-34 Samoa
England 47-19 Sri Lanka
New Zealand 19-17 Samoa

Pool B
Country Result Country
South Africa 46-0 Malaysia
Scotland 41-0 Tonga
Scotland 50-12 Malaysia
South Africa 36-5 Tonga

Pool C
Country Result Country
Canada 31-0 Wales
Fiji 52-0 Zambia
Wales 38-5 Zambia
Fiji 19-12 Canada

Pool D
Country Result Country
Australia 62-0 Jamaica
Kenya 27-14 Uganda
Kenya 45-0 Jamaica
Australia 12-12 Uganda

PV: 29
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