Winger Angelo Davids scored a hat-trick of tries against Argentina and France at Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta on Saturday as the Springbok Sevens delivered a masterclass of sevens at the HSBC Sydney Sevens.
They outplayed Argentina 52-14 and France 24-12 to top pool B and looks set to qualify for the Cup semifinals later Sunday. They need to get the better of Samoa at 02h51 (SA time) on Sunday to secure a top four finish but could also go through on points’ difference should results not go according to script against the South Pacific team.
The Blitzboks were under pressure to deliver following an unsatisfactory showing in Hamilton last weekend and opened the fourth tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series red-hot, putting eight tries past Argentina in temperatures that touched 40 degrees.
Davids, alongside namesakes Zain and Selvyn, JC Pretorius and Justin Geduld, in his 50th tournament for South Africa, crossed the line against Argentina. The winger dotted down in the 6th, 12th and 13th minutes of the match, with his second effort the most spectacular, beating two opponents with a brilliant step and swerve
Selvyn Davids also scored a beauty stepping two opponents and then racing away for an 80-meter effort.
For Angelo, it was a normal day of the office. “The guys on the inside did all the hard work,” he smiled modestly. “We realised that we needed to be disciplined and stay true to our structures and that delivered the results. It was great to score those tries, but it was a team-effort really,” said the 20-year old.
The South Americans were blitzed big time. JC Pretorius scored in the opening minute and great defensive pressure by the South Africans resulted in regular turn-over of possession, which was converted into tries.
France, who came into the tournament sharing second place on the overall World Series log, also fell afoul of Davids, who scored his first try in the opening minute, a second just before the half-time break following a delightful grubber by Selvyn Davids and his third after 13 minutes of play. JC Pretorius continued his try-scoring feat against the French in the current season with a fine try early in the second half, as the Blitzboks ran great lines and an excellent final pass from Impi Visser put his blonde-haired teammate in space.
France got tries either side of the half to stay in the hunt, but never really looked like toppling the South Africans.
For assistant-coach, Renfred Dazel, this was a job well-done and he applauded the players.
“Yes, they probably had a point to prove – even just to themselves – and did so excellently. From a coaches’ point of view, it is always nice to see the effort of the players being rewarded and their hard work bearing fruit. They were very good today, physical when needed, but also clinical and that is great to see.”
South Africa 52 (26), Argentina 14 (0).
South Africa – Tries: Angelo Davids (3), Selvyn Davids (2), Zain Davids, Justin Geduld, JC Pretorius. Conversions: Selvyn Davids (2), Justin Geduld (2), Branco du Preez (2).
Argentina – Tries: Matías Osadczuk, Felipe del Mestre. Conversions: Francisco Ulloa (2)
South Africa 24 (14), France 12 (7)
South Africa – Tries: Angelo Davids (3), JC Pretorius. Conversions: Selvyn Davids (2)
France – Tries: Sacha Valleau (2). Conversion: Jean Pascal Barraque.
The remaining fixture against Samoa is at 02h51 on Sunday.