The Blitzboks finished top of Pool D despite slumping to a 21-12 defeat against Samoa on day one of the London Sevens. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
South Africa will face New Zealand, who finished second Pool A, in the Cup quarter-finals at 12:42pm on Sunday.
Samoa had been the worst-performing team in this pool on Saturday, losing to Canada and Russia. And while South Africa were tested by the Canadians themselves earlier in the day, they saw off the challenge to maintain a perfect run in the lead-up to this clash.
And yet it was Samoa who made the Blitzboks look like a B-grade side.
The Pacific Islanders made a cracking start to the game as they opened up a 14-0 lead inside the first three minutes. Alamanda Motuga went over for the first try, followed by one from Joe Perez, who sliced through the heart of the South African defence.
The Blitzboks came back strongly towards the end of the half. Aggressive work at the breakdown by Werner Kok and captain Philip Snyman earned a penalty for South Africa. They shifted the ball quickly and Heino Bezuidenhout barged over.
However, Samoa would have the final say of the half when Motuga cantered away to finish off a long-range try.
Samoa were unable to add to their tally after the break, but they were able to maintain the ferocious intensity in defence.
Seabelo Senatla came on as a replacement and scored a sensational solo try, but his effort was in vain as Samoa held on for a well-deserved win.
Cup quarter-final fixtures (Day 2):
Fiji vs Canada (11:58am)
USA vs Ireland (12:20pm)
South Africa vs New Zealand (12:42pm)
Australia vs England (1:04pm)
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