World Rugby Sevens Series leaders South Africa got their Hong Kong Sevens campaign off to a good start by defeating Argentina 24-0 in their opening Pool C match on Friday.
Former World Player of the Year Cecil Afrika scored his 120th Series try to open the score for the Springbok Sevens, who are aiming to capture their first title at this prestigious tournament. Speedster Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith and Werner Kok all followed Afrika over the try line to secure a hard-fought but comfortable victory for the Springbok Sevens.
Argentina defended with great determination for much of the first half. They did well to restrict the South Africans to their own territory but did however squandered a few opportunities that came their way with unforced handling errors.
Afrika eventually broke the deadlock when he managed to race free to dot down under the posts to put his side 7-0 ahead. Flying winger Senatla, the leading World Series try scorer this season, then stretched the SA lead to 12 points when he was on hand to perform a spectacular diver over in the corner.
The match followed much of the same pattern in the second half, with Argentina trying to strangle the speedy South Africans with huge tackles and then electing to kick for possession when they eventually get hold of the ball.
Kwagga Smith scored with his first touch of the ball after the Springbok Sevens had worked their way into attacking territory with some impressive handling skills (19-0). Just before the end Kok powered his way through to score his side’s fourth try to confirm a comfortable win on the opening day.
South Africa will be in action again tomorrow, first against Japan and then against France. The knockout matches are scheduled for Sunday.
The remaining SA fixtures in Hong Kong are (live on SuperSport 6, SA times):
Saturday 28 March
06h18 vs Japan
11h40 vs France
Sunday 29 March
03h30 Start of knockout matches