Bok Sevens held to draw by Fiji

Fiji denied South Africa a three from three result on the first day of the London Sevens with a 21-21 draw.

Fiji, among the favorites of the competition, opened the scoring through Seremaia Burotu with Ilai Tinai converting to lead 7-0 within five minutes. Tinai then crossed for a converted try of his own and took Fiji to go 14 points up. But Ryno Benjamin again starred, giving the sevens Boks a try just before the half to keep them in the match.

His heroics were repeated shortly after the break, leveling the score at 14 apiece. South Africa then went seven ahead when Cecil Afrika crossed and Mzwandile Stick converted his third of the match, but James Brown equalized for Fiji in the sixth minute and neither side could provide a decisive break; the match ending at 21-21.

In their second clash South Africa demolished Canada 43-0, featuring three tries to Benjamin, to run to their second win. Benjamin crossed within the first minute, but Stick was unable to convert. However he rectified this on the back of his own try a minute later taking the Boks to a 12-0 lead. Canada’s Neil Meechan did little to help his side’s cause with a yellow card. Benjamin made use of the one-man difference; his converted try giving South Africa a 19-0 half-time lead.

The second half saw any Canadian resolve fade – Benjamin’s third after 18 seconds opening the floodgates and Afrika, MJ Mentz and Neil Powell flooding the minnow’s tryline.

In their first game of the day South Africa resisted a late French charge to win 19-12. Back from injury, Stick opened the scoring with a try in the fourth minute before grabbing a second after stepping from a standing start and showing great acceleration. Having converted both of his own tries, Stick propelled South Africa to a 14-point half-time lead.

Afrika continued his good run of form with South Africa’s only second half try, extending the Bok’s lead to 19. However, France staged a late resurgence and were as unpredictable as ever; an unconverted try to Anthony Poujol five minutes in opening their account and, in the final play of the match, Renaud Delmas crossed in the left hand corner to take the French to 12.

Day 1 Results
England 5 Australia 38
New Zealand 19 Kenya 19
Fiji 21 South Africa 21
Samoa 10 Argentina 14
Scotland 24 Russia 7
Wales 14 Portugal 12
Canada 26 France 5
United States 14 Italy 17
England 36 Scotland 10
Australia 47 Russia 0
Kenya 17 Wales 22
New Zealand 35 Portugal 12
South Africa 43 Canada 0
Fiji 29 France 14
Argentina 12 United States 14
Samoa 41 Italy 0
England 29 Russia 5
Australia 43 Scotland 17
Kenya 17 Portugal 15
New Zealand 43 Wales 5
South Africa 19 France 12
Fiji 28 Canada 19
Argentina 29 Italy 0
Samoa 38 United States 14

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