Playing with four new caps who are all still Under-21 and one who is in only his third tournament, the Springboks started their challenge in the Wellington tournament of the IRB Sevens World Series on Friday with an easy 38-10 win over Niue.
The Springboks were up 31-0 at halftime and were impressive in their handling, angle-running and general awareness on attack, and Steve Hunt will remember his Bok debut for two good tries.
However, there would have been reservations about the way they allowed the Islanders, feeding on possession scraps, in for two easy tries in the second half while scoring only one themselves.
Coach Paul Treu was a little nervous about the Boks’ defence going into the tournament, but this time it was probably a loss of concentration more than anything else that gave Niue their hardly deserved 10 points.
In the other match in Pool A, Series leaders New Zealand simply overran Wales 29-5. The Springboks have to beat Wales in the second round to ensure that they make the quarterfinals, and on the face of their match against the home side Wales should be beaten by the Boks.
But then, this is Sevens — and while Wales did not look like title contenders, they were playing a very good home side.
The unpredictability of Sevens was emphasised by Canada who the beat Argentina 26-7 in Pool D in the only upset of the first round, with all the other matches ending in big victories for the top seeds. — Sapa