The Blitzboks beat Argentina 26-12 on Saturday to advance to the Cup quarter-finals of the Singapore Sevens. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
South Africa will face Kenya at 6:52am (SA time) on Sunday.
The Blitzboks’ resolve was tested in their final pool match, but their supreme work at the breakdown and ability to translate turnover possession into points laid the foundation for a gritty victory.
It took just 27 seconds for Siviwe Soyizwapi to score the first try and also his 50th overall for the Blitzboks. Soon after, Werner Kok hit a gaping hole to extend his side’s lead to 12-0.
South Africa, sans the services of Rosko Specman — who was ruled out of this game with a shoulder knock — suffered another setback when captain Kyle Brown collapsed on the ground clutching his knee.
With Argentina in possession at the time, the Blitzboks had to defend with six men. The Argentinians did well to create the overlap, but with the tryline at his mercy, Tomas Passaro lost control of the ball. The stoppage in play allowed South Africa to bring on Brown’s replacement and get back to their full complement.
But the momentum was swinging in Argentina’s favour. Passaro made up for his earlier mistake when he barged over for a converted try, before another five-pointer by Lautaro Velez leveled the scores at 12-12 just before half-time.
South Africa found their second wind after the restart, as they tightened the screws on defence and turned on the style on attack, to bury Argentina.
They turned the ball over at the breakdown and with Argentina’s defence back-peddling, Selvyn Davids darted over to get the Blitzboks back in front.
The try-scorer then turned provider. With Argentina on the attack in South Africa’s half, Davids was the first man in over the ball and won a turnover penalty. He took a quick tap and after seeing Argentina had no sweeper at the back, he hacked the ball into the open space for Muller du Plessis to chase. The speed merchant got to the ball first, but an awkward bounce forced him to toe it ahead into the in-goal area where he dived on the ball to score the fourth and final try.