Sydney Sevens: Big guns off to flying start
DAY ONE WRAP: The Springbok Sevens team opened their Sydney Sevens tournament with a strong showing on Friday, beating African foes Kenya 31-5 in their opening Pool B clash, leading 21-0 at the break at Allianz Stadium.
There were also wins for some of the other big teams in the tournament.
New Zealand, who are in the same pool as the BlitzBoks, got their campaign underway with a 45-7 win over Uruguay.
Fiji proved to be too strong for Tonga as they raced away to a 52-7 win.
Hosts Australia edged Great Britain 12-7, while the USA eased past Spain with a 33-14 scoreline.
The BlitzBoks were very clinical on attack, but it was their defensive effort that impressed most, as they kept Kenya at bay with solid tackles and then attacked from turnover possession.
Kenya had possession in the opening minute, but were bundled into touch. The BlitzBoks won the lineout and with a deft inside pass by Ryan Oosthuizen, Shaun Williams was allowed some space. The scrumhalf ran hard and transferred to Shilton van Wyk, who ran in from 50 meters out to score under the poles. Ricardo Duarttee converted for a 7-0 lead.
Williams started at scrumhalf, with Duarttee at flyhalf and the latter’s playmaking ability handed Van Wyk, at centre, a quick brace as a lovely delayed pass opened the Kenyan defence up.
Duarttee converted for a 14-0 lead. Williams scored the third try with a lovely stop and go catching the Kenyan defence flat-footed.
The 21-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of the match at that stage.
The second half saw some changes from coach Sandile Ngcobo and one of those replacements, James Murphy, was first on the second half scoreboard, again after strong tackling by the men in green and gold forced Kenya to make mistakes under pressure.
Credit to the Kenyans though, who kept attacking when in possession and they were finally rewarded two minutes from time when Kevin Wekesa found some space on the outside. Kenya managed to keep recycling the ball and worked their way up the field until their winger was in space.
The BlitzBoks were not finished though and Siviwe Soyizwapi scored his 140th World Rugby Sevens Series try after a slick backline move and a 31-5 final scoreline.
Manueli Maisamoa is making his mark at #Sydney7s
He tops the #ImpactPlayer charts 📊#HSBC7s | @DHLRugby pic.twitter.com/Ncrb8DE4ou
— World Rugby 7s (@WorldRugby7s) January 27, 2023
Day One Results:
Ireland 12-17 Samoa
USA 33-14 Spain
South Africa 31-5 Kenya
New Zealand 45-7 Uruguay
Fiji 52-7 Tonga
France 19-17 Japan
Australia 12-7 Great Britain
Argentina 24-19 Canada
Saturday, January 28:
Ireland v Spain – 09.00
USA v Samoa – 09.22
South Africa v Uruguay – 09.44
New Zealand v Kenya – 10.06
Fiji v Japan – 10.28
France v Tonga – 10.50
Australia v Canada – 11.12
Argentina v Great Britain – 11.34
Samoa v Spain – 14.43
USA v Ireland – 15.05
Kenya v Uruguay – 15.27
New Zealand v South Africa – 15.49
Tonga v Japan – 16.11
France v Fiji – 16.33
Great Britain v Canada – 16.55
Argentina v Australia – 17.17