BlitzBoks keep Cape Town dream alive
DAY ONE WRAP: Hosts South Africa kept alive their dream of a first win on home soil since 2015, the first year in which the event was held in Cape Town, when they came from behind in a 17-7 win over Canada.
It was also a day that produced at least one major upset.
Each team played one pool match.
Spain was the talk of Cape Town after defeating New Zealand 14-10 in Pool C.
New Zealand, who reached the semi-finals of last week’s tournament in Dubai, produced an error-ridden display against a tigerish Spanish team.
Manu Moreno scored a try in the first half, converted by Juan Martinez, to make it 7-0 at the break.
Regan Ware’s five-pointer early in the second period brought things back to 7-5 before a try and conversion by Juan Ramos gave Spain a 14-5 advantage with just a minute left.
Moses Leo scored a late consolation for New Zealand, but Spain held on to spark celebrations.
Pool A ended day one and Joseva Talacolo (two), Pilipo Bukayaro, Waisea Nacuqu and Iowane Raturaciri scored tries for Fiji as they outclassed France 33-0.
Canada then gave the hosts South Africa a real scare and led 7-0 early on, thanks to an Alex Russell try converted by Brock Webster.
Muller du Plessis and Shilton van Wyk’s unconverted efforts had South Africa 10-7 up after 11 minutes.
Ryan Oosthuizen’s try converted by Ricardo James Duarttee then got them home 17-7, but they knew they had been in a real tie.
Earlier in Pool C, tries from Agustin Fraga (two) and Juan Manuel Molinuevo saw Argentina get the better of Kenya 19-5.
Pool B started with Samoa defeating Uruguay 21-10, Tuna Tuitama, Uaina Sione and Vaa Apelu Maliko the try scorers for the victors.
Harry McNulty scored one try and Chay Mullins two as Ireland got things up and running with a 19-5 win over Japan.
Great Britain managed to defeat Hong Kong champions Australia.
Australia was leading the Pool D clash 19-14 with just moments remaining when Femi Sofolarin managed to score the equalising try and then Kaleem Barreto held his nerve to kick the winning conversion.
Great Britain’s other tries in the game came from Freddie Roddick and Max McFarland while Australia’s tries went to Nathan Lawson, Dietrich Roache and Stuart Dunbar.
On Day Two on Saturday, the men’s Pools come to an end with two more matches for each team.
Then the Cup quarterfinals will be played to set things up for Day Three.
Argentina 19-5 Kenya
New Zealand 10-14 Spain
Samoa 21-10 Uruguay
Ireland 19-5 Japan
Australia 19-21 Great Britain
United States 38-5 Uganda
France 0-33 Fiji
South Africa 17-7 Canada
— World Rugby 7s (@WorldRugby7s) December 9, 2022