Bok Sevens face England in Vegas semis

The South African Sevens rugby team scored a 19-14 victory over Australia in the early hours of Sunday morning (SA time) to book their first semifinal of the HSBC Sevens World Series season against England.

Tries from the impressive Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez and captain Kyle Brown enabled the Springbok Sevens to register a morale boosting victory over the Aussies. New Zealand and Fiji meet in the other semifinal. John Grant and Lewis Holland were the Australian scorers.

Brown and his teammates must now overcome the strong challenge of England, who reached their fourth consecutive Cup semifinal of the season with a 28-14 win over Kenya. England won the Dubai title in December and lost in the final against New Zealand in Wellington.

A relieved Brown, speaking to the IRB Radio service, said his team was working hard on eliminating unforced errors and that they were looking forward to their first Cup semifinal appearance of the season.

“Let’s just hope they make the next few tournaments four games on day one — it seems to be working for us! The guys picked up the momentum from the first game this morning and kept pushing it throughout the day so we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

South Africa and Samoa reached the Cup quarterfinals after playing to a pulsating 7-7 draw in their last Pool D clash in the Sam Boyd Stadium. Uale Mai, on his return to the Samoa Sevens squad, gave his side the lead before Renfred Dazel cancelled out his effort.

Earlier in the day, Afrika marked his return to action with his 18th try of the World Series against hosts the United States as South Africa raced to a comprehensive 27-5 victory. Brown continued his good form with two tries while young Paul Jordaan also added a brace.

Afrika was again on the score sheet against Japan, while Bernado Botha completed his first hat-trick of the World Series in their 35-0 victory against Japan as they booked their place in the quarterfinals. – Sapa

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