South Africa finished top of Pool A and will face Scotland in the Cape Town Sevens quarter-finals, reports JON CARDINELLI at Cape Town Stadium.
The Blitzboks should have mixed feelings about their performances on day one of the tournament. While they overcame the physical challenge of Samoa to win the first game 22-12 and went on to thump Zimbabwe 43-0 in the second fixture, they lost 26-21 to New Zealand in the final clash of Pool A.
Nevertheless, they have done enough to finish at the top of Pool A and will face Scotland in the Cup quarter-finals on Sunday. New Zealand, who lost to Samoa on day one, will face Australia in the first round of the playoffs.
Rosko Specman, who was willed on by the partisan crowd, scored first in the first half to give the hosts the advantage. New Zealand struck twice before the break to take the lead at 14-7.
The Blitzboks made amends for their defensive failings when they sacked a Kiwi ball-carrier behind the tryline after half-time. Werner Kok scored from the ensuing set piece and Justin Geduld made no mistake with the conversion.
Branco du Preez won a breakdown penalty two minutes from time. Du Preez then went on to run through the Kiwi defence for what appeared to be the winning score.
New Zealand hit back in the dying moments with two tries of their own, though, to win the game and deny the Blitzboks a perfect record on day one.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) December 8, 2018
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images