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Blitzboks start London leg with whitewash victory

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By Mark Etheridge

The Bltzboks got the final leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series off to a winning start with a 19-0 victory over Portugal at Twickenham, London on Saturday.
Aiming to bounce back after a disappointing leg in Glasgow, Scotland last week where they only managed to win the Plate final, Neil Powell’s charges looked efficient if not effervescent in their opening Pool D game.
They only had to wait 1min 30sec into the game before Stephan Dippenaar skipped through after a penalty against Portugal, for his 36th World Series try.
A successful conversion by Branco du Preez saw the Blitzboks 7-0 up and that was how the first half ended, a stanza which saw SA completing 29 passes to their opponents’ 12.
Midway through the half it was Dippenaar, the Paul Roos product getting his second try after a quickly taken tap penalty.
The conversion was missed and the Blitzboks had to wait until just 13sec before the hooter as Rosko Specman gathered neatly after a thoughtful chip through by playmaker Justin Geduld.
On this occasion the conversion was good and the Blitzboks had three tries, 19 points and a clean sheet in the defence stakes.
Captain Kyle Brown was satisfied at the whistle: ‘It’s 9 o’clock in the morning, a soggy pitch, empty ground so it’s good for a start.
‘We spoke about our poor Scottish performance earlier in the week, put it behind us and now it’s great to be here on this iconic ground.
‘Next up is France who are very a very up and down side. They tested us in Wellington earlier this year so you can’t write them off.’
Final game of the day for the Blitzboks are the United States.
To win the overalls series the Blitzboks must win the Cup final and hope the Fijians finish no higher than third. The South Africans have however, technically assured their place in next year’s Rio Olympics which feature Sevens Rugby for the first time.


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