Blitzboks dazzle in Dubai as sensational Senatla sinks Kiwis

Kristopher Nichols
December 3, 2017

A dominant first-half display from the Blitzboks saw them lead 19-0 at half-time, playing a 6 man New Zealand at a stage.

The All Blacks Sevens, who were rattled in the first half by South Africa's showing, clawed back into the game in the second period.

The Blitzboks made the flawless start to the defence of their HSBC World Sevens Series title by winning the season-opening tournament in Dubai on Saturday.

The next round is in South Africa next weekend.

The reigning series champions fell to a 14-12 defeat after a late converted try handed the Americans a shock victory.

They had earlier finished pool play undefeated, accounting for South Africa 40-0 and France 28-17 alongside their comprehensive win over the US.

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"We let NZ back into the game with a silly yellow card and one or two mistakes towards the end nearly cost us‚" SA captain Snyman said.

The series next heads to Cape Town on 9 December.

It was the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year 2016 Seabelo Senatla who showed his tactical awareness for the Blitzboks second, ripping the ball out of a ruck on the Fiji 10 metre line and slipping through the defence untouched.

"We want to focus on our processes and it we leave the result and result doesn't go our way then we're still happy". Down to six men, Powell's team conceded tries to Andrew Knewstubb and Scott Curry and with only a few minutes to play there was only seven points in the tie.

Remarkably, it was just the third time in their history that the New Zealand women's sevens have been knocked out before the semifinals, having been defeated by Australia and England in quarter-finals in 2015.

On day one, on Friday, the BlitzBoks shook off the rust from the off-season by getting the better of Uganda, Kenya and Canada, none of whom ever came close to really troubling the defending champions, and now are the hot favourites to again go all the way and take the title.

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