Argentina overturned a 12-point deficit to beat the Blitzboks 17-12 at the Dubai Sevens on Friday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Earlier in the day, the Springbok Sevens claimed wins over Zimbabwe and Samoa, but they never looked their best.
This proved to be the case once again in their final game on day one, but this time it came back to haunt them as Argentina pulled off a memorable comeback win.
However, despite this defeat, the Springbok Sevens will still sneak through to the Cup quarter-finals, although they will know that much improvement is required on day two of proceedings.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) November 30, 2018
It all looked to be going according to script for the Blitzboks as they opened up a 12-point lead early on, but Argentina would find a late lifeline in the first half when Impi Visser was shown a yellow card.
Soon after seeing Visser sent to the sin bin, the Springbok Sevens conceded a try and saw their lead cut to seven points.
Argentina again made the Blitzboks pay when Marcos Moroni scored soon after the restart, and they continued to pile on the pressure as momentum shifted well and truly in favour of the South Americans.
To make matters worse for the Springbok Sevens side, Siviwe Soyizwapi was also sent to the sin bin for a high tackle with just over a minute remaining, and with the final play of the match, Argentina went over for the match-winning try.
The Blitzboks had enjoyed the perfect start to proceedings when they pounced on an early error from Argentina for Ryan Oosthuizen to dot down within the opening minute.
Although the reigning champs hadn’t fired on all cylinders in their first two games, they demonstrated all their class in the lead-up to the second try, which would be scored by Werner Kok after the Blitzboks twice utilised well-weighted kicks as a weapon.
However, the Blitzboks offered hardly any threats after that, with the defending champs rather fortunate to progress to the Cup quarter-finals at the expense of Samoa in Pool A.
They still topped their pool to book a Cup QF date against @EnglandRugby at 09:00 SA time on Saturday but Blitzboks coach @Neil5Powell did not hold back after the defeat to Argentina . @CastleFreeSA @FNBSA @ASICSRugby pic.twitter.com/GiMY59VOr0
— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) November 30, 2018
Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images