Samoa clinched a 21-10 victory over the Blitzboks in the Cup quarter-finals of the Paris Sevens on Sunday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
South Africa enjoyed a fairly easy passage through to the playoffs, but were simply outplayed by the hard-running Samoans, who outscored them three tries to two.
When Ruhan Nel powered over the tryline 50 seconds into the match, it all seemed to be going well. But South Africa weren’t able to play with their normal rhythm. Their strong defence was unlocked in the fourth minute when Ed Fidow burrowed over for a converted try to give Samoa a lead they never relinquished.
The Blitzboks went on the attack early in the second half, but the breakdown dominance they showed earlier in the tournament was absent in this match as Samoa effected a turnover and Alefasio Tapili caught the defence napping with a straight 50m sprint to double Samoa’s score.
Samoa looked threatening every time they had the ball in hand and when the Blitzboks conceded yet another penalty, captain Faalemiga Salesele landed the final blow with a converted try from close quarters.
Cecil Afrika then scored a try, but it was too late for the Blitzboks.
South Africa's elimination from the Cup set-up a Plate semi-final against New Zealand and the Blitzboks fought from 12-0 down against their rivals to win 29-19 and progress to the final.
The Blitzboks went on to defeat Australia 17-7 to finish the tournament in fifth place and come away from the Paris Sevens with some silverware.
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