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SA make it two out of two by beating Russia in Dubai

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By Mark Etheridge

The Blitzboks made it two out of two in the defence of their Dubai Rugby Sevens title on Friday as they rolled over Russia to the tune of 45-0
It was a brutal lesson in skills for 16th ranked Russia from the world’s second ranked side.
South Africa led 26-0 at the break and went on to add another 19 in the second half, scoring seven tries in the process.
The two sides have met on 13 occasions and Russia are yet to score more than 14 points in a single match against the Blitzboks, let alone win an encounter.
After winning their first match of the tournament 33-7 against Samoa, it took just 30 seconds for SA to open the scoring as Seabelo Senatla zipped in after a tapped penalty.
Justin Geduld missed the conversion from in front of the posts but made up for it later in the half as nailed three other conversions, the first two from acute angles.
The other tries in the second half came from veteran forward Chris Dry after Russia failed to retain possession from the kick off and then it as Phillip Snyman who crashed over after 15-man specialist Juan de Jongh had made good work down the left.
On the hooter South Africa had a five-metre scrum, their second in quick succession, and it was Geduld who weaved his way over under the posts after drawing out the opposing defence.
The second half saw more of the same attacking prowess from coach Neil Powell’s men as Senatla scored his second of the match after another veteran, Ryno Benjamin, sized up a seemingly innocuous situation so well by catching at least four Russians off guard with a sudden injection of pace from broken play and freeing up Senatla.
That brought Senatla’s 95th Sevens Rugby series tries, and puts him fourth on the all-time list.
World Sevens Player of the year, Werner Kok then came off the bench with around 4min 30sec left to play. Shortly after his introduction Stormers talisman Cheslin Kolbe picked up a loose ball from broken play to run fully 60m and dot down under the post.
Fittingly it was Kok who finally cooked the Russian goose as he was freed by Francois Hougaard, another 15-man code addition to the squad, and he went over down the left.
Kolbe missed the conversion but the Blitzboks will be happy with their 45-0 return ahead of their final Pool B game of the day, against Scotland.


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