The Blitzboks defeated Fiji 17-7 at the Singapore Sevens to finish top of their pool and set up a Cup quarter-final meeting with Samoa. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
South Africa came into this encounter on the back of convincing victories against Canada and Scotland, while Fiji were at risk of missing out on a spot in the quarter-finals following their shock defeat to Scotland. And yet, despite those results, the Blitzboks were still not clear-cut favourites to come out on top in this highly anticipated match.
As was evident by the scoreless opening six minutes, this was a war of attrition. But it was a war the South Africans won, based on clinical execution, relentless defence and a dominant effort at the breakdown.
South Africa will now face Samoa in the Cup quarter-finals at 5:30am (SA time) on Sunday, while Fiji will take on New Zealand at 6:14am.
Fiji started positively, as they immediately sprung on the attack. But the Blitzboks were well up to the task of keeping them at bay. Unfortunately, Fiji also had it in them to keep their rivals from scoring. The game was played at a frenetic pace and the breakdown as a brutal contest. There were six turnovers in the first four minutes.
South Africa would eventually break the deadlock when Siviwe Soiyzwapi engaged two defenders, allowing Stedman Gans to score an easy try in the corner.
Fiji came alive after the break as Livai Koroigasagasa finished off one of those magical long-range tries for which the islanders are renowned.
But South Africa’s aggressive defending denied them any further opportunities, while at the other end Kurt-Lee Arendse and Werner Kok dotted down to secure an impressive victory.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) April 13, 2019