7's, International Rugby

Blitzboks survive early Wales scare but Werner Kok not so lucky

Defending champions South Africa dug deep to end day one in Las Vegas unbeaten.

The Blitzboks beat Wales 26-21 after trailing 14-0 and eased past Canada 19-12.

South Africa’s Pool B rivals England were also unbeaten on Friday, running in six tries in a 40-12 rout of Canada, before a 33-12 win over Wales in which Tom Bowen ran in a hat trick.

Werner Kok was ruled out of the tournament with a jaw injury.

Fiji were emphatic in both wins against Russia and France, the USA beat Samoa and Australia and Argentina surprised New Zealand 26-19. It was the only the 10th win for the Pumas against New Zealand in 82 meetings.

New Zealand, currently second in the series standings, had beaten Uruguay 28-7 before falling to Argentina, who beat the Kiwis for just the 10th time in 82 meetings.

South Africa, whose run to the series title last season included a triumph in Las Vegas, lead the current standings on 77 points with New Zealand second on 69 and Fiji third on 62.

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