Blitzboks forward JC Pretorius credited the defensive effort of the squad as crucial in their seven try romp over Japan in their Pool A opener at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens on Friday evening.
The Springbok Sevens gave Japan nothing on attack and defended with great discipline, forcing the Japanese into errors, which was turned into seven tries for the Blitzboks (full match report here (https://bit.ly/38z0mGh)
“We did well in sticking to our structures which made our defence very strong, and because of that, we could manipulate them and scored tries,” said Pretorius.
Pretorius not only defended stoutly but had the Cape Town crowd on their feet with a stunning solo run to score his very first try at the tournament.
“It is my first tournament (here in Cape Town) and my first try, so that is a very nice feeling. It was a dream of mine playing at this tournament and now it has happened, so I am really pleased,” said Pretorius, who added that the atmosphere was phenomenal.
“I asked the guys about it and although they explained, it was still amazing to hear the support from the crowd. We really appreciate that and playing in front of supporters like these is special.”
The Blitzboks take on Fiji (13h51) and USA (20h03) in their remaining Pool A games on Saturday. Fiji beat the Americans by 28-14 in their match earlier on Friday and Springbok Sevens captain Siviwe Soyizwapi said they need to reload in order to prepare for the two teams who finished first and second on last year's World Series log.
“We need to reload and start over again tomorrow,” said Soyizwapi.
“It is going to be a tough day taking on two classy teams like that, but every day of a tournament on the World Series is a tough one.”
• South Africa and Fiji have played each other 88 times in the World Series. The Blitzboks won 35 times and Fiji 51, with two games ending in draws. The last time they clashed was in Singapore in April, when the Springbok Sevens scored 20 unanswered points to win 20-19.
• South Africa faced USA 54 times in the series and won 46 times with an average winning margin of 25-9. They last met in Paris in June, where South Africa won 24-7.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Rugby Union.
Note to editors: Audio notes of Siviwe Soyizwapi(Xhosa and English) and JC Pretorius (English) are available for download here (https://bit.ly/36JAu9d)