Boks fly into quarters

Ryno Benjamin scored four tries on the opening day of the Dubai Sevens as South Africa finished at the top of their pool.

The Sevens champs beat Australia 29-0 win to set up a quarter-final clash with Fiji. Benjamin scored a brace in the first half while captain Paul Delport rounded off a great period of play where South Africa displayed their great ball retention and innovative attacking skills.

At 19-0 down at half-time, the Aussies were dead and buried. Mzwandile Stick crashed over from close range early in second period, and added his second just a minute before the final whistle.

In their second pool match, Chase Minnaar scored a brace in South Africa’s six-try demolition of the Arabian Gulf. The Bok Sevens outfit emerged 36-7 victors in their second pool match where they were dominant across all facets of play. Minnaar showcased his speed and skill to beat the defence for South Africa’s first try, a score which was quickly followed by a five-pointer for Delport.

Their strength at the breakdown, where Kyle Brown was particularly prominent, resulted in a number of penalties. Delport’s vision and acceleration helped the Boks immensely, as he spun a long pass to MJ Mentz who in turn found Benjamin for South Africa’s third try.

Neil Powell and Brown got on the scoreboard while Minnaar added his second to round off some sparkling interplay. Arabian Gulf were denied by some fantastic defence early in the match, but Marcus Smith did manage to crash over for a consolation score right at the death.

In South Africa’s first match on Friday, the Blitzboks began their defence of the Dubai title with a 28-14 victory over Wales.

Benjamin opened the scoring when Delport opted for a tap penalty. Delport was involved again just a moment later when he intercepted a Welsh pass and cantered over the tryline.

Mpho Mbiyozo bashed his way through some feeble tackle-attempts to extend South Africa’s lead, but Wales scored an important try through Alex Cuthbert right on half-time.

The Blitzboks were far less clinical in the second period, spilling the ball in contact on a couple of occasions when they had the tryline at their mercy. Cuthbert sparked Wales’ second try when he sprinted down the touchline and found Lloyd Williams for the finish.

Wales attempted to level the scores in the dying seconds, but Stick turned defence into attack when he beneffited from a loose Welsh pass. Stick chipped and had the pace and skill to beat the cover defence for the regather as South Africa finished a mediocre second-half with a flourish.

For the latest results, click here.