The Springbok Sevens recorded an unbeaten run to top Pool B on day one at the Gold Coast Sevens.
Following wins over America and Japan, the Blitzboks sealed a successful opening day at the Australian leg of the 2011-12 World Series with a 21-7 triumph over the hosts. Tries from Mark Richards, Robert Ebersohn and Stephen Hunt proved enough for victory.
Australia held South Africa to a 7-7 scoreline at the break, but Ebersohn and Hunt capitalised on a impressive showing in the second half for the crucial win. The Springbok Sevens will now face France in the Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Chris Dry scored a hat-trick in the Blitzboks’ 31-7 victory over Japan.
It was a rusty performance in the first stanza by Paul Treu’s charges, as they were held to a 7-7 deadlock at half-time. Japan speedster Lote Tuqiri scored the opening try before Chris Dry leveled matters.
South Africa then scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to seal what was an easy win in the end. Dry grabbed two tries to complete his hat-trick while Bernado Botha and Paul Delport also dotted down.
In the Blitzboks’ first game, they stuttered to a 17-12 victory over the USA.
The Americans capitalised on poor opening play in the first half by South Africa, which saw a brace from speedster Zach Test secure a seven-point advantage for the former. Blitzboks’ wing Richards dotted down to keep his team within reach at the break.
The Springbok Sevens were far more convincing in the second stanza as Boom Prinsloo and Chase Minnaar crossed the chalk to secure a tight win.
Blitzboks’ fixtures and results, day one:
SA 17 USA 12
SA 31 Japan 7
SA 21 Australia 7
Blitzboks’ fixtures, day two:
SA vs France (06:12 k/o)