siviwe soyizwapi Blitzboks

The Blitzboks have to beat New Zealand to stand any chance of winning this season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title. Photo: SA Rugby website

Los Angeles Sevens Day 1 result: Blitzboks bounce back to beat Canada

The Blitzboks have to beat New Zealand to stand any chance of winning this season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title.

siviwe soyizwapi Blitzboks

The Blitzboks have to beat New Zealand to stand any chance of winning this season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title. Photo: SA Rugby website


The Springbok Sevens started their defence of their LA Sevens title on a disappointing note when they were outplayed 21-7 by the USA in their opening Pool B clash at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles on Saturday, before they bounced back with a 22-17 win over Canada.

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The home side held a 14-0 lead at the break and then extended that to 21-0 before a late Blitzboks try offered some hope to the SA side, who need to finish in the top four if they want to win the 2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The USA dominated possession and without the ball, the SA side needed to make a lot of tackles, not all of them successful, allowing the home team to dot down early. Shaun Williams was shown a yellow card and with six men only, they conceded another try just before the break.

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Perry Baker blitzed the Blitzboks early in the second half to push the lead out to 21 points, before a try to Sako Makata, converted by Williams, gave the SA team some hope, but they ran out of time.

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“We did not use the opportunities. We did not make the tackles we needed to and made mistakes when we had the ball on the few occasions, we had it,” said captain, Siviwe Soyizwapi afterwards.

“We did not want to start like this, this was not a good start for us.” 

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Meanwhile, against Canada, South Africa started strongly and set the tone from the start.

Muller du Plessis scored in the opening minute, Siviwe Soyizwapi two minutes later and JC Pretorius just before the half.

Du Plessis ran a great line, Soyizwapi finished off a flowing move from a lineout and Pretorius used great strength and power to get past the Canadian defence.

Blitzboks have to beat New Zealand

Zain Davids had to leave the field with injury though, which was not good news given the fact that Dewald Human was also a non-starter after picking up a knock against the USA.

The second half was not the best of South Africa. Canada scored early in the half and although Soyizwapi got a second to ease the gap, Canada scored again to close the gap, but their third try came too late.

South Africa now play New Zealand and have to win the match to go into the Cup quarter-finals.

That match kicks off at 00:59 on Sunday morning (SA time).

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SCORERS

USA 21-7 South Africa

USA 

Tries: David Still, Joe Schroeder, Perry Baker

Conversions: Lucas Lacamp (3)

South Africa

Try: Sako Makata

Conversion: Shaun Williams

South Africa 22-17 Canada

South Africa 

Tries: Muller du Plessis, Siviwe Soyizwapi (2), JC Pretorius

Conversion: Darren Adonis

Canada

Tries: Josiah Morra, Brock Webster, Anton Ngongo

Conversion: Cooper Coats