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Successive wins for Blitzboks as they start London campaign
- Updated: May 21, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
The Blitzbok rugby sevens side notched up victories against North American opponents Canada and the United States in the last World Series tournament of the season in London on Saturday.
They opened their quest to try and reign in series leaders Fiji with a 21-5 win against Canada at Twickenham and it was Ryan Kanowski who was the star of the show.
He opened the scoring with just 30sec gone, racing down the left after good work from Kyle Brown and Cecil Africa’s conversion made it 7-0.
With 1:30 to go in the half it Kanowski again (see picture above) but this time down the right after some great work by Cecil Afrika.
Another conversion by the latter saw the Blitzboks sitting pretty at 14-0.
And less than two minutes into the game it was Francois Hougaard who went over down the right after Dylan Sage and got the attention of most of the Canadian defence.
An excellent conversion by Afrika made it 21-0 but the Blitzboks went to sleep right at the hooter as veteran captain John Moonlight scythed clear down the middle. The unconverted try made the final score 21-5 to Neil Powell’s men.
The second match was against the United States who had earlier beaten Samoa, winners of the Paris leg of the series in France last weekend.
This time the Blitzboks opted to play try-scoring machine Seabelo Senatla and the flyer didn’t take long to open his London account with a lovely try after Afrika had drifted cunningly down the left, keeping the defence guessing and leaving it up to Sage to free up Senatla in nice fashion.
Senatla nearly had a first half double as he nearly got home before his speedy counterpart, Perry Baker bundled him into touch – halftime 7-0.
It was again Sentatla who got the second half off to a flying start for the Blitzboks as he went over from fully 60m out, flying down the right and beating three defenders in various fashion. Africa’s conversion made it 14-0.
Skew throws at the line-out were starting to cost the Blitzboks though and it as Rosco Speckman and Chris Dry who combined to save a certain US try with around two minutes to play.
But credit to the US, who never gave up and finally crossed with 1:24 to play, after another bungled line-out. It was Nate Augspurger who went over to make it 14-5. Still the Americans weren’t done and it was Ben Leatigaga who made it 14-10 before time ran out for the US to get anything out of the game.
SA’s last first-day game is against Samoa at 5.48 SA time.
In the picture Francois Hougaard of South Africa is tagged by a flying Mike Fuailefau of Canada as a leapfrogging Cecil Afrika takes evasive action on Saturday. Picture by ROGER SEDRES/Gallo Images