The Blitzboks conceded two late tries to suffer an agonising 26-21 loss to Fiji in the Cup semi-finals of the Singapore Sevens on Sunday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Although the Springbok Sevens led by seven points on three separate occasions during the match, including when they headed into the final two minutes of the clash, the Fijians came storming back to clinch a thrilling win.
The Blitzboks made a strong start as fleet-footed Seabelo Senatla created the space for Justin Geduld to dot down for an early try, but the Fijians typically hit back soon after as big Masivesi Dakuwaqa displayed superb stepping skills to go over unopposed.
The two teams then traded quickfire tries again as first Chris Dry and then Jasa Veremalua went over before half-time to leave the scores deadlocked at 14-14.
End-to-end action continued straight after the restart, until yet another moment of magic from Senatla displayed his extraordinary speed off the mark to dart over for his sixth try in Singapore.
However, in a heartbreaking finish for South Africa, Eminoni Nasilasila scored under the posts before then turning provider moments later to put Alifereti Veitokani away for the match-winning try with the last play of the game.
Despite that disappointment, the Blitzboks bounced back to comfortably beat Argentina 28-0 in the third-place playoff as they now move back to second place on the World Rugby Sevens Series standings.
Kwagga Smith scored the solitary try in the first half, while Siviwe Soyizwapi, Stephan Dippenaar and Ruhan Nel all scored in the second period as South Africa ran away with it in the end.
Meanwhile, Kenya caused a major upset in the Cup final when they beat Fiji 30-7 to claim their maiden sevens title. The African side led 20-0 after producing a scintillating first-half performance, and they backed it up in a frenetic second stanza to close out a historic victory.
Fiji's runners-up finish does see them extend their lead at the top of the Sevens Series standings, but the day belonged to Kenya in Singapore.
Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP Photo