Los Angeles Sevens: Challenging start for South Africa Blitzboks and women’s team


The HSBC SVNS Los Angeles Sevens tournament commenced with a challenging start for the South African contingent, as both the Springbok Sevens and Springbok Women’s Sevens teams faced defeats in their opening encounters at the Dignity Health Sports Club.

The event, unfolding on a crisp Friday evening in Los Angeles (Saturday morning SA time), saw the Blitzboks and their female counterparts struggle against formidable opponents, Ireland and New Zealand, respectively.

In a match that highlighted the sheer dominance of the Black Ferns, the Springbok Women’s Sevens team could hardly make their presence felt.

New Zealand, continuing their impressive form from Vancouver, wasted no time in asserting their authority on the game.

Scoring within the first minute and quickly doubling their lead, the Kiwis showcased their attacking prowess and ball-handling skills, leaving the South African side overwhelmed.

By halftime, the scoreboard read in favor of New Zealand, with five tries that underscored their tactical superiority and left the SA Women starved of possession.

Despite a more spirited performance in the latter half, highlighted by Ayanda Malinga’s impressive 70-meter run to score, the South African women’s team found themselves on the wrong end of a 41-5 scoreline.

Their late-game resurgence and the ability to put together coherent phases of play, however, provided a glimmer of hope as they prepared to face Fiji in their next pool match.

On the men’s side, the Blitzboks’ campaign began on a sour note with a 17-0 defeat against a determined Irish team.

From the outset, Ireland seized control, capitalizing on an early mistake from the South Africans to score a converted try within the first minute.

Dominating possession and territory, the Irish outplayed the Blitzboks throughout the first half, going into the break with a comfortable lead.

Though the South African men showed signs of improvement in the second half, their efforts were thwarted by a solid Irish defense and their own errors at critical moments.

With a crucial match against Argentina looming, the Blitzboks are under pressure to rectify their mistakes and rejuvenate their campaign to secure a spot in the final eight.

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