The Springboks Sevens (Blitzboks) placed themselves in the knockout stages of the Los Angeles leg of HSBC World Series after coming through the pool stages unbeaten. They will face hosts, the USA, in the quarterfinals on Sunday evening.
The Blitzboks were dominant in their two previous pool matches against Kenya and Canada but in their final pool clash against Ireland, they weren’t as convincing as in the first two encounters, securing a 19 all draw.
It was a tough first half with both teams as they only managed a try each to go to the break seven-all. However in the second half, Ireland went on to take a 19-7 lead and almost set for victory.
The Boks Sevens found themselves digging in deep for a come-back in a dramatic finish. With just two minutes remaining, they were rewarded for their efforts.
Kurt Lee Arendse pulled one back before Chris dry won a crucial lineout in the final play of the match for captain Stedman Gans to score, while Selvyn Davids converted for a draw.
“It was just for the boys to stay calm and just go through our process. We know exactly what we want to play, when we get in that position so it’s just about execution. We will always fight back when it looks like we won’t make it it’s just a South African spirit we never stop fighting,” says Gans.
Earlier, the Blitzboks opened their account with a 31-5 victory over Kenya in a physical battle; then followed Canada who were also taught a lesson by Neil Powell’s men.
Although they conceded an early try, they bounced back to deny the Canadians another opportunity on the scoreboard.
Two converted tries by Gans and Cecil Afrika late in the first half gave the Blitzboks a 14-5 lead at the break.
South Africa maintained its dominance in the second period, scoring three unanswered tries that included a brace by Du Plessis to secure a 33-5 emphatic victory.