Justin Geduld scored a try in the seventh minute of extra-time as the Blitzboks beat Spain 15-10 in the quarter-finals of the Paris Sevens to keep their hopes of clinching the Sevens Series title alive. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
The Blitzboks will take on New Zealand in the Cup semi-finals at 2:25pm (SA time).
More importantly, though, South Africa are still in the Sevens Series title race after England fought back from 17-7 down to defeat Fiji 19-17 in the first quarter-final. England will play Canada in the semi-finals.
The three scenarios if the Blitzboks are to win the Sevens Series are:
– Winning gold in the Cup final
– Winning silver if Fiji finish sixth with an inferior points difference
– Reaching the final if Fiji finish seventh
As has been the case throughout this Paris leg, the Blitzboks weren’t all that flash against Spain. South Africa struggled to unlock Spain’s defence and it was only when Pablo Fontes was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on that the Blitzboks scored through Dewald Human.
Spain caused the Blitzboks’ defence all sorts of trouble and soon their star player Pol Pla was in for a try to level the scores 5-5 at the break.
The stop-start nature of this dull contest continued in the second half. First Dylan Sage put South Africa in the lead with a neat finish in the left-hand corner but the conversion was unsuccessful.
In a dramatic end to regular time, Manuel Sainz scored a contentious try to level the scores with mere seconds remaining. The all-important conversion, which had the power to determine the series title, was well wide and the game went into extra-time.
In a see-saw battle to get the first try to win the game, South Africa survived a couple of nervy moments as Spain went close to knocking them out. Coach Neil Powell substituted Werner Kok back on and it was his alertness that led to turnover possession and Geduld’s subsequent match-winning try.
With Spain trying to work their way out of the danger zone, the ball squirted out at the back of the ruck and Kok lunged forward to secure possession. From there, they swung the ball wide to Geduld, who stepped and turned his way past several defenders to score.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 10, 2018