The Blitzboks beat Samoa 26-10 to advance to the Cup semi-finals of the Dubai Sevens on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
South Africa will next face Fiji, who beat Scotland in their quarter-final.
The Blitzboks were made to fight for every inch in this quarter-final clash against a Samoan side that was competitive right until the end.
Samoa were pinned inside their half from the kickoff and when they eventually did get a linebreak, a loopy pass over the top was intercepted by Cecil Afrika. From there, the Blitzboks launched a counter-attack and Seabelo Senatla finished off in the right-hand corner.
Samoa hit back immediately to lock the scores up at 5-5 after the South Africans missed a couple of regulation tackles.
But then Senatla bamboozled the Samoan defenders for a five-pointer he had no right to score. From a turnover, Afrika carried the ball up before it was sent wide to Kok, who engaged two defenders and then offloaded to Senatla. The speedster then magically stepped inside, outside and inside again to leave three tacklers in his wake.
Branco du Preez slotted the conversion for a 12-5 lead at the break.
Samoa dominated the early stages of the second half and were rewarded with a brilliant try, which highlighted the cracks in the Blitzboks’ defence.
With their lead reduced to two points and battling to get possession, the Blitzboks showed their class when they finally got their hands on the ball. Surging forward, the ball went to Kok and he powered through two tackles to score a wonderful try.
There was still time for replacement Tim Agaba to add the finishing touches with a fourth try, but the scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of how hard the Blitzboks had to fight for this win.