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Springbok Sevens assistant coach Philip Snyman was pleased, but not smiling, after the Blitzboks’ opening victory at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens on Friday evening.

The home team – behind by 5-7 at half-time – remained calm under pressure, took their chances and ultimately got their campaign off to a winning start with a 17-7 victory over the Canadians in their Pool A clash at DHL Stadium.

Canada started very well and Alex Russell scored the first try of the match, converted by Brock Webster, in the fifth minute.

Moments later, with almost no time left in the first half, Muller du Plessis got one back for the Blitzboks after a good run by Impi Visser, and it was 7-5 at the break.

The Blitzboks took the lead midway through the second half after some individual magic from Shilton van Wyk, who kicked the ball into the Canadian in-goal and followed up to score himself.

The conversion sailed wide but the next kick, the restart, was perfect as it just landed inside the field of play, with the Canadians leaving it to bounce straight into Ryan Oosthuizen’s hands, who raced away untouched for the home team’s third try with less than two minutes left in the match.

Blitzboks player Impi Visser
Blitzboks player Impi Visser

SNYMAN HAPPY WITH BLITZBOKS

“You always want to win when playing in front of this Cape Town crowd and to open the tournament with a win is ideal, so we are not complaining,” said Snyman.

“We did make some errors, but we needed this game to get the euphoria of Dubai out of our heads. One or two of the players will now realise that you need to back up a good performance by a better one if you want to be successful.

“We did make some defensive errors, but those are easy to fix. There were jersey grabs, instead of shoulders to bodies so that is an easy fix. We did leave some tries out there as well, on Saturday we need to use every opportunity you get.”

Snyman said Fiji will be a huge challenge first up on Saturday. The Fijians beat France in their pool clash by 33-0.

“They will be a tough opponent, as usual – whether you play Fiji in the pool or in the knock-out stages, they remain a tough team to beat,” said Snyman.

“We want to finish top of the pool here in Cape Town and to do that, we need to play well against Fiji and make sure we grab every opportunity that comes our way. We have much to look forward to tomorrow.”

On Saturday they play Fiji at 11h19 and France at 17h00 in their next two pool games before the playoffs start.

Scorers:

Springbok Sevens 17 (5) – Tries: Muller du Plessis, Shilton van Wyk, Ryan Oosthuizen. Conversion: Ricardo Duarttee.

Canada 7 (7) – Try: Alex Russell. Conversion: Brock Webster.

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