The South African Sevens side managed to overcome a nervous start against the USA to advance to the Cup play-offs of the 2011 Gold Coast Sevens.
The Blitzbokke faced a determined USA Sevens in their opening match at the Gold Coast’s Skilled Park, going into the second half trailing the Americans 12 -5.
However, tries by the lanky Chris Dry and Boom Prinsloo in the second half saved the South Africans’ fortunes and saw them come out winners by 19 – 12.
The Boks then went on to beat Japan (31 – 7) and hosts Australia in the final match of Day 1 (21 – 7). The victory over the newest hosts of a 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series tournament was marred by yet another potentially disastrous injury to talisman Cecil Afrika.
The Springbok playmaker was initially slated to play in only the third tournament in Port Elizabeth but coach Paul Treu sprung a surprise by naming the SARU and IRB Sevens Player of the Year in the starting line-up for the Gold Coast Sevens.
Afrika left the field during the match against Japan with a suspected rib fracture. Despite being taken to a nearby hospital, Afrika was on the sideline during the match against Australia and will have another scan done tomorrow.
BlitzBokke.com was contacted by several fans who questioned coach Paul Treu’s decision to play Afrika in Australia. One frustrated supporter felt that Treu had erred by not giving Cecil enough time to recuperate after his facial injury last season. “Why not let him rest until PE?” she asked. “That is why the (new) rules allows a coach to make 5 substitutions!” she argued.
The IRB’s decision to change the draw for the tournaments during this season sees South Africa NOT meeting Fiji in the early Cup play-offs. South Africa will instead meet France in one of the Cup quarter-finals tomorrow.
After Day 1 of the Gold Coast Sevens, the Cup draw will be as follows:
Match 29 13:06 NEW ZEALAND 0 – 0 ENGLAND 1/4 final Cup
Match 30 13:28 SAMOA 0 – 0 AUSTRALIA 1/4 final Cup
Match 31 13:50 WALES 0 – 0 FIJI 1/4 final Cup
Match 32 14:12 SOUTH AFRICA 0 – 0 FRANCE 1/4 final Cup
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