Robbie Fergusson kicked a last-minute conversion as Scotland shocked the Blitzboks 14-12 in their opening pool game at the Paris Sevens on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
South Africa, in their final push to overhaul Fiji at the top of the Sevens Series standings, got off to the worst possible start as they came up short against the inspired Scots.
With Scotland receiving the kick-off, the Blitzboks made a shaky start to the game. The Scots retained and recycled possession for the first four minutes, forcing South Africa to make over 20 tackles. But the defence held firm.
With the clock going to five minutes, Siviwe Soyizwapi ripped the ball in a tackle. But in his attempt to launch a counter-attack, Ryan Oosthuizen lost the ball in contact and Fergusson reacted first as he pounced on the loose ball and ran in an easy try.
The Blitzboks responded late in the first half when Ruhal Nel’s smart cross-field kick-pass saw Justin Geduld canter down the left flank for a self-converted effort.
The introduction of Seabelo Senatla off the bench added some spark to the Blitzboks’ listless performance, as he showed great strength to stay on his feet in a tackle and force his way over the line to give South Africa the lead for the first time.
But Scotland sensed they had an opportunity to cause an upset and kept probing until Harvey Elms found a hole in the defence. His try tied the scores, but Fergusson held his nerve to slot the crucial penalty.
Blitzboks remaining fixtures (Day 1):
vs Russia (1:02pm)
vs Canada (6:30pm)
Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images