The Blitzboks scored six tries to defeat Scotland 36-5 in the quarter-finals of the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco on Sunday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
The Blitzboks’ quest to win a maiden title remains on track after advancing to their first World Cup semi-final in 21 years. South Africa will now face England in the last four (9:40pm SA time).
As the comprehensive scoreline suggests, this was a one-sided affair as the Blitzboks produced one of their most efficient and dominant performances of the season against a Scotland side who didn’t even get a look-in.
The tone was set in the first half when the Blitzboks made 15 carries to Scotland’s four, four linebreaks to none and zero errors to two. And the Blitzboks’ domination continued in the second half. Scotland managed to win just one of eight restarts and were only allowed one visit into the 22.
Werner Kok and Justin Geduld were the catalysts for this victory, scoring two tries each, while Siviwe Soyizwapi and Ruhan Nel bagged one apiece.
Going direct, hardworking Kok was first over the line with a storming run from close quarters. Kok’s versatility was on display as he showed explosive pace on his way to a second try. The third try, scored by Geduld on the stroke of half-time, put the Blitzboks in the clear at 19-0 up.
South Africa’s relentless onslaught didn’t let up after the restart, as Geduld, Soyizwapi and Nel all scored to drive home the advantage. But much like in the previous game, the Blitzboks conceded a late try. Scotland’s effort came in stoppage time on their only visit into the 22.
Coach Neil Powell said the Blitzboks will have to look after their ball possession if they want to progress to the final, as England are a dangerous side from unstructured defences.
‘The guys really pitched up against Scotland and I was very pleased about that,’ said Powell. ‘We were very clinical and used every opportunity we had to score. We gave Scotland very little, to be honest.
‘That could come to nothing if we don’t show up with the same intensity against England in the semi-final.’
England edged the USA in extra time to make it into the final four.
‘England play sharp rugby as we saw against the USA,’ said Powell. ‘Their ability to retain restarts was instrumental in that win against the US and that is an aspect of our play we will need to be very sharp at if we want the ball.’
Semi-final fixtures (Sunday, SA time):
South Africa vs England (9:40pm)
Fiji vs New Zealand (10:02pm)
— Rugby World Cup Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) July 21, 2018