The Blitzboks scored five tries to defeat hosts England 29-19 in the semi-finals of the London Sevens on Sunday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Despite what the comprehensive scoreline suggests, the Blitzboks fought hard to see off the challenge England posed in front of the partisan Twickenham crowd.
South Africa will now face arch-rivals Fiji in the final (6:57pm SA time).
The Blitzboks made a blistering start when Werner Kok leapt high to take the short kick-off and sprinted towards the tryline, but Tom Mitchell tracked back to make a try-saving tackle. England managed to exit the danger zone, but it wasn’t long before Kok scored the opening try.
Justin Geduld made a turnover and from there the ball went through the hands of Ryan Oosthuizen and Stedman Gans, before Kok burst through the middle to dot down. England hit back quickly through Phil Burgess to level the scores.
The South Africans then upped the ante. Dylan Sage danced down the right flank and when England decided to contest the breakdown, they left the blindside wide open, allowing Philip Snyman a free run-in to the tryline as the Blitzboks took a 12-7 lead at half-time.
That advantage was extended when England gift-wrapped a try to the opposition. The hosts squandered possession five metres from their own tryline and South Africa simply had to secure possession and shift it wide to Seabelo Senatla to score their third try.
The conversion was unsuccessful, so when Burgess left Kok in his wake to get England’s second converted try, it was game on with the scoreboard reading 17-14.
But set-piece dominance lifted the South Africans past the English. They retained possession well and sealed the victory after tries by Gans and Geduld, before England got a late consolation effort through Dan Norton.
Blitzboks will meet @WorldRugby7s leaders @Fiji7sTeam in final of @LondonSevens after a clinical performance against the hosts @EnglandRugby . @CastleLagerSA @FNBSA @ASICS_ZA #WePlayForYou pic.twitter.com/mxHJ32LnxL
— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) June 3, 2018