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10 Dec 2011 06:51
The SA Sevens cruised into the quarterfinals of the Sevens World Series thanks to three convincing rugby performances in the Port Elizabeth leg at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.
The Blitzbokke went through the day without conceding a point and saved their best performance of the day for the final match of the evening, trouncing Pool C rivals Australia 26-0.
South Africa broke down some resolute Aussie early defending when star player and IRB Sevens player of the year Cecil Afrika scored the opening try of the game on the stroke of half-time.
They scored three more tries through Mark Richards (two) and Steven Hunt to bury Australia and top the pool.
Paul Treu’s men will now face France in Saturday’s Cup quarterfinals.
South African leg champions New Zealand signalled their intention to defend their title with a superb 41-0 victory over Dubai finalists France in Pool A.
The French had no answer for the powerful All Blacks, who also easily accounted for Morocco and Scotland earlier in the day, and face Australia in Saturday’s Cup quarterfinals.
Series log leaders Fiji also claimed three victories on Friday, along with Samoa.
South Africa eased into their campaign just after lunch with a comfortable 33-0 victory over Canada, playing with cohesion and determination to run in five tries to none.
Afrika produced a perfectly weighed crosskick into the safe hands of Chris Dry, who scored South Africa’s second try before the dreadlocked Port Elizabeth-born flyer was subbed by Treu shortly after the interval.
Other tries were scored by Branco du Preez, Hunt, Cornal Hendricks and Richards.
Another PE-born star, Hunt thrilled local fans when he ran in four tries as the Blitzbokke thumped Kenya 45-0 in their second match.
Afrika, who missed the Dubai leg because of a rib injury, once again marshalled his troops brilliantly as the Boks raced to a 26-0 lead at the break, dashing to score a 50-metre try in the corner.
The domination continued in the second half as Richards and Boom Prinsloo also added tries, while Du Preez kicked five conversions.—Sapa
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