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Business as usual as Blitzboks go unbeaten on day one in Dubai

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By Mark Etheridge

They didn’t have it all their own way but the Blitzboks made it three wins from three matches on day of the Dubai leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series on Friday.
After 33-7 and 45-0 wins against Samoa and Russia respectively, South Africa beat Scotland 26-12 in their final Pool B encounter.
That saw them topping the table and going through to the Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
Once again it was Seabelo Senatla who was once again the Blitzboks talisman as he scored his fifth try of the tournament after just 20 seconds after gathering possession from an uncontrolled Scottish kick-off.
But Scotland clawed their way back into the game after good work down the right saw Scott Riddell bring the score back to 7-5. Then it was, Senatla (who else?) who went over for another try after the Blitzboks had worked their way upfield from their 22-metre line and Justin Geduld had drawn most of the opposition.
But Scotland weren’t done and pulled closer with 30sec to go  as a hoofed forward ball after a missed SA throw-in saw Mark Robinson winning the footrace from Geduld.
Halftime saw Neil Powell’s men holding a slender 14-12 lead and coach Neil Powell, pictured above, was at pains to emphasise that the green and gold clad side couldn’t afford to give away needless penalties.
SA extended their lead after patient play by South Africa created space for Geduld to cross over for his 47th Sevens Series try after neat distribution from Francois Hougaard and skipper Kyle Brown.
They had their job made a bit easier for two minutes as Scottish skipper Scott Wight was yellow-carded for two minutes after an illegal ‘neck rolls’.
But the Blitzboks failed to capitalise with Cheslin Kolbe knocked on when it seemed a given that SA would score from a scrum midfield on the 22m line.
With just under 2min to go the SA side wrapped things up after some excellent work from Ryno Benjamin in the tackle turned over possession and De Jongh dashed over for a converted try which saw the final score being 26-12 to the Blitzboks.


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