The Springbok Sevens’ defence of their Las Vegas Sevens title started off on a powerful note as they ended day one without conceding a point.
Placed in a tricky pool alongside Wales, Canada and Kenya, the Blitzbokke placed their marker early on as they smashed Wales 43-0 in the opening game of the tournament and then followed it up with a comprehensive 29-0 win over Canada in the second game of their pool fixtures.
The Blitzbokke will face Kenya in their final group fixture tonight (0.12am CAT, SA, GMT+2), and – thanks to the strange fixture list at this tournament – will then face their quarterfinal opponents just over two hours later.
While the Blitzbokke are firm favourites in these parts, thanks to a narrower pitch and the massive amount of PR work they did in the lead-up to the tournament, they underlined this fact as Branco du Preez continued his journey to becoming a Sevens legend with some impressive individual performances.
Seabelo Senatla, who missed out on the Nelson Mandela Sevens through injury, made a triumphant return to the squad, and has already scored four tries in the first two games to remind all that there is no substitute for speed.
Any thought that the Welsh had of making an impression was firmly snuffed out as they were starved of the ball, and two tries from Du Preez, and another from Senatla set the trend in the first half.
It took just 13 seconds in the second half for Justin Geduld to add his name to the scoresheet, with Senatla winning two footraces to get his hat-trick, before Geduld finished off the whitewash in style for the Blitzbokke.
Against Canada, it took a bit longer to break the Canadian resolve, but tries to Du Preez and Senatla in the first half made sure this would be a winning day for the Blitzbokke.
They followed it up with tries in the second half for captain Kyle Brown, Justin Geduld and Stephan Dippenaar.
Paul Treu’s Kenya started off badly, losing 17-15 to Canada before bouncing back to beat Wales 21-17. They have a tough task as Treu faces his former team tonight.
In the “group of death”, New Zealand and Australia look set to qualify, as the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 31-7 in their opening match, and followed it up with a 26-5 win over Scotland.
The Wallabies, however, won the crucial clash against Fiji 22-21 and now Fiji will have to beat the All Blacks to have any chance of qualifying.