The Blitzboks held on for a narrow 21-19 win over Argentina in the Cup quarter-finals of the London Sevens on Sunday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
The Springbok Sevens cruised into the Cup quarter-finals after wins over Canada, the USA and Samoa on day one, but had to work hard to overcome a gutsy Argentina team in their first outing on Sunday. They'll next face Fiji in the Cup semi-finals (15:46 kick-off), with the islanders having thrashed France in their quarter-final.
It was far from a complete performance from the Blitzboks against Argentina, but they led 21-7 at the break and had enough of a buffer to come away with the win despite failing to score in the second period.
The Blitzboks made the ideal start as Chris Dry ran a beautiful line to pick up a pass from Rosco Speckman and dash through the defence to score after just a minute of play. The latter then went from provider to try-scorer as he produced a beautiful break soon after and went over under the posts to help double the Blitzboks’ lead.
Argentina hit back with a try to Axel Muller, but with the final play of the half Cecil Afrika was able to dot down and re-establish some breathing room for South Africa.
Neither side really found much rhythm to their play in the second half, with penalties being awarded one way and then the next, but there would be some nervy moments for the Blitzboks when Santiago Cordero went over to score before Stephan Dippenaar was sent to the sin bin.
Javier Rojas scored with the final play of the game to reduce the deficit to just two points, but the touchline conversion went wide and the Blitzboks were able to celebrate a hard-fought win.
Fiji have already wrapped up this season’s World Rugby Sevens Series title, but the Blitzboks will be pleased to have secured second spot in the standings – which will help with their draw for the Olympics in August – after third-placed New Zealand lost to the USA in their quarter-final.
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