South Africa will face the London Seven 2009 defending champions England in the Cup quarter-finals of this year’s tournament. The BlitzBokke finished top of Pool C thanks to their superior points difference.
Cecil Afrika in action at the London Sevens 2010 (Pic by irb.com)
In previous tournaments this season, Fiji has developed a reputation as the South Africans’ bogey team. In the biggest clash of Day 1 of the London Sevens, Paul Treu’s men drew their final Pool C match 21-21 against the Fijians. Veteran Fabian Juries had a last minute claim for a winning try rejected after he chased a kick and arrived first at the ball under the posts. The referee however ruled correctly that he had knocked the ball forward in his desperate dive to score what would have been a great try to cap his comeback after a two-year absence from the IRB Sevens World Series.
Fiji raced into a 14-0 lead despite fielding four Series tournament debutants, courtesy of tries by Seremia Buroto and Elia Tinai. Ryno Benjamin, South Africa’s stand-out player on day one then scored his team’s first try on the stroke of half-time.
South Africa took control after the break, with Benjamin adding his second before Cecil Afrika dotted down after clever play from Juries.
But just as it seemed that South Africa had done enough to beat Fiji, they allowed James Brown to race through for a converted try that levelled the scores.
In their other Pool C matches, the Springboks beat France 19-12 before comprehensive shutting out Canada 43-0
Fabba: The fitness will come
Asked about his return to the BlitzBokke, Fabian Juries had this to say: ”
“Yeah definitely, it is a bit of a change from 15-man rugby, you run a lot more in Sevens. I am just enjoying being back so far. The fitness is not there just yet but I think it will come.”
Pressed for comment on returning to Sevens at Twickenham:
“It is great, definitely fuller than the last years I have been here, and it is a nice atmosphere so I am enjoying it.”
All the results from Day 1 of the London Sevens can be found on irb.com