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Blitzboks end Pool stages unbeaten in Hong Kong

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By Mark Etheridge

South Africa roared into the Cup quarter-finals of the Hong Kong leg of World Rugby Series sevens on Saturday, ending their Pool C games unbeaten.
After beating Argentine 24-0 in Friday’s opening fixture, the Neil Powell coached Blitzboks overcame Japan and France in their remaining pool games.
They first brushed past Japan with another clean sheet (27-0) and then only conceded one try and wrapped up their day with a 29-7 victory over their Northern Hemisphere rivals, France.
They lead 12-7 at the break after tries by skipper Kyle Brown and speedster Seabelo Senatla.
It was a blitzing start to the second half by South Africa as they put immense pressure on the French from the kick-off eventually forcing the French defence to carry over.
From the resulting scrum the ball saw Werner Kok barge over down the left and Branco Du Preez knocked over the conversion to see them 19-7 to the good.
With just over three minutes to go it was Senatla who to over down the right to put the game beyond the French (24-7)
And with just 33sec left on the clock the Blitzbok flyer put the icing on the cake as he booted through from around the halfway line, cooly collected and dived over for his hat-trick of tries as South Africa won 29-7.
Senatla’s hat trick means he is comfortably the competition’s leading try scorer of the season to date.
Immediately after the SA-France game it was a trans-Tasman clash between Australia and New Zealand. The loser would play South Africa in the quarter and that was Australia as the black-jerseyed Kiwis won 14-5.
Many eyes, even in Hong Kong will be on Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday as the great southern hemisphere rivals of Australia and New Zealand clash in cricket’s World Cup final.


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