Sat 21 Jan 2023 | 11:00

BlitzBoks set up date with France

BlitzBoks set up date with France
Sat 21 Jan 2023 | 11:00
BlitzBoks set up date with France
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DAY ONE WRAP: A late try by Zain Davids against Argentina ensured that the BlitzBoks team finished the opening day of the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton unbeaten as they progressed to the quarter-finals on Saturday.

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The South Africans edged Argentina 17-14 thanks to Davids’ late winning try to set them up for a quarter-final clash with France at 23h58 on Saturday evening (SA time).

Earlier on the first day, Shilton van Wyk’s hat-trick steered the Blitzboks to a 34-5 victory over Canada in their pool opening clash, however, they had to work very hard for their wins over an improving Spain and the dangerous Argentine outfit.

Spain made the BlitzBoks team sweat for a 19-12 win as Shaun Williams’ converted try ultimately proved the difference between the sides after the Spanish staged a strong comeback from their 7-0 half-time deficit.

The hard-fought win then set up a decisive Pool D meeting with Argentina, who earlier also managed to beat Spain and Canada in their opening fixtures.

The South Africans also had to dig deep to outplay Argentina in their final match of the day. The South Americans took the early lead with a try in the second minute, but tries from Dalvon Blood and Christie Grobbelaar edged the Blitzboks ahead at the break by 12-7.

Luciano Gonzalez’s try shortly after halftime saw Argentina regain the lead and the South Americans fought hard until Zain Davids went over for the late winner to snatch a dramatic victory.

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The BlitzBoks now face France late on Saturday in one of the four quarter-finals,

Fiji won three out of three to top Pool A while New Zealand did the same to top Pool B.

First up in Pool A, Tira Wilagi, Waisea Nacuqu, Filipe Sauturaga and Manueli Maisamoa bagged tries as the Fijians defeated France 26-10.

Kenya were holding Samoa at 5-5 at half-time in their clash before second half scores came from Paul Scanlan (2), Vaa Apelu Maliko and Motu Opetai to see the former through 31-5.

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Sauturaga, Nacuqu and Viwa Naduvalo scored converted tries as Fiji then defeated Kenya 21-7 and then France turned on the style to defeat Samoa.

Paulin Riva, Aaron Grandidier and Rayan Rebbadj were their try scorers in a 21-10 victory.

That result threw the Pool wide open and tries from Nacuqu (2), Naduvalo and Maisamoa saw Fiji hand Samoa a second defeat of the day 22-12.

It meant that a France win over Kenya would see the former make it through to the Cup quarter-finals alongside Fiji at the expense of Samoa.

The French did that in the end, but were pushed hard by Kenya, a Nelson Epée try hat-trick leading the way in a 26-21 win.

In Pool B, in their first match the hosts showed what they are all about by thumping Tonga 45-0.

The tries in that one came from Moses Leo, Regan Ware, Joe Webber, Roderick Solo, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black (2) and Brady Rush.

Nathan Lawson then led the way for Australia with two tries as they defeated Great Britain 28-14.

Tonga then caused a big shock by getting the better of Great Britain 26-21, Kyren Taumoefolau, Rodney Tongotea and John Ika among the tries for the victors.

There was then a cracking tie between New Zealand and Australia. Henry Paterson’s try, converted by Dietrich Roache, in the second half looked like it might win it for Australia, but Solo and Akuila Rokolisoa had other ideas.

They scored a try and conversion respectively for New Zealand to win it 21-19.

A try hat-trick by Roache helped Australia to a 36-7 win over Tonga, but it was not enough to see them top the Pool.

That was because a Solo double led New Zealand to a 19-12 win over Great Britain.

New Zealand and Australia are into the Cup quarter-finals.

Results:

South Africa 34-5 Canada
Argentina 20-5 Spain
Fiji 26-10 France
Uruguay 12-14 Ireland
Samoa 31-5 Kenya
USA 40-12 Japan
New Zealand 45-0 Tonga
Great Britain 14-28 Australia
Aregntina 29-14 Canada
South Africa 19-12 Spain
Fiji 21-7 Kenya
Uruguay 19-24 Japan
Samoa 10-21 France
Great Britian 21-26 Tonga
USA 14-14 Ireland
New Zealand 21-19 Australia
South Africa 17-14 Argentina
Samoa 12-22 Fiji
USA 28-12 Uruguay
Spain 5-12 Canada
Ireland 33-12 Japan
France 26-21 Kenya
Australia 36-7 Tonga
New Zealand 19-12 Great Britian

PV: 7
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