Blitzboks suffer setback in quest for Hong Kong glory

The South Africans were slow out of the blocks and conceded two early tries in the opening minutes.

The Blitzboks suffered a 21-14 defeat to England in their opening match. Picture: Twitter @Blitzboks.

CAPE TOWN - The Blitzboks got off to a disappointing start in the Hong Kong World Series leg after suffering a 21-14 defeat to England in their opening match.

The South Africans were slow out of the blocks and conceded two early tries in the opening minutes of their pool B clash.

South African coach Neil Powell admitted his side were not up to standard in the opening stages of the match.

"We knew England would be a tough nut on the last match of the day as they always have massive support, they came at us from the start and to be honest we were caught napping. We are not happy with this start that is for sure."

Try machine Seabelo Senatla hit back for the Blitzboks when the English were one man down but he himself was yellow carded soon as he was judged to have impeded an English player and they were awarded a penalty try.

The Blitzboks showed character when Philip Snyman scored with a minute to go, however it was too little too late as lost line-out by the South Africans ruined their last chance on attack.

Powell admitted it was going to be tough task qualifying for the main section as they fight it out with Fiji in the World Series overall standings.

"Not happy at all, I think we put ourselves under a little bit of pressure to qualify for the Cup quarter finals. It was definitely not the start we wanted. I think England took the game to us from the first minute".

The Blitzboks will now look forward to matches against Russia and Scotland and Powell believes it is an opportunity for his side to show their resolve.

"It will be a great test of character for us to see how we handle this loss."

He went onto say, "The key for us now is to get our focus up for the game against Russia and hopefully if we get through that one we shift our focus to Scotland."