The Springbok Sevens emerged unbeaten from day one at the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens to qualify for tomorrow’s play-offs where they will face Samoa in one of the four quarterfinal matches at Murrayfield.
South Africa advanced to the last eight of the Cup thanks to victories over Canada (32-5), Kenya (31-14) and Australia (19-5).
The Springbok Sevens paid a heavy price for their success on day one though. They lost influential scrumhalf Branco du Preez in their first match (sprained ligaments, ankle) while veteran Neil Powell also had to leave the field against Australia after suffering a rib injury.
Australia managed to contain South Africa for much of the first half, and the Springbok Sevens could only managed to score on the stroke of halftime, when Cecil Africa crossed after a fine set-piece move.
Tries by Paul Delport and newcomer William Small-Smith, his second of the tournament in his first full start, took South Africa into a safe lead. Australia scored a consolation try through Greg Jeloudev.
Tries by Kyle Brown, Bernado Botha, Steven Hunt, Afrika and Powell powered SA to a 31-14 win over tricky customers Kenya, who replied with two converted tries from captain Humphrey Kayange.
South Africa opened their account with a convincing 32-5 win over Canada. Frankie Horne, Afrika, and Brown scored in the first half while John Moonlight touched down for Canada. Botha and Brown scored after the break before Small-Smith scored his debut World Series try.
This season New Zealand have won four of the seven Cup titles on offer, South Africa two and England one, the opening tournament of the season in Dubai.
The Cup quarterfinal draw for later today (Sunday) at Murrayfield is:
New Zealand vs. England
Fiji vs. Australia
South Africa vs. Samoa
Wales vs. France
“We wanted to top our Pool. We’re not thinking about finishing second (on the season log) right now. We’re going to focus on the quarter-finals.” said Paul Treu after Day 1. Let’s listen: