The Springbok Sevens team reached their seventh consecutive quarterfinal in the 2017/18 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong on Saturday after beating Scotland (31-17) and England (33-15).
The two wins followed a 45-0 pool C victory over South Korea on Friday, the first day of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and resulted in South Africa being one of only two teams to win all three their matches, Fiji being the other.
Spain, who on Day One knocked over Australia and then beat Canada for a second-placed finish in pool B, will meet the Blitzboks in the second Cup quarterfinal of the day.
The young South Africans, with no less than five players making their World Series debut, delivered a strong performance against Scotland, with three second half tries proving the difference. They were leading 14-10 at the break, but then scored three unanswered tries to pull away from Scotland.
Against England, the Blitzboks were on the back foot from the start, with England scoring in the opening play of the match. They scored another as well in the half, but converted tries by Stedman Gans and Selvyn Davids gave their team a 14-10 lead.
England scored first after the restart to lead 15-14, but Gans, Davids and Ndhlovu got over the England line to secure their undefeated status in the group stages.
Stand-in Springbok Sevens coach, Marius Schoeman, was pleased with topping the pool. “We were a bit hold and cold today. We conceded some unnecessary points, especially against England, but it was mission accomplished as we wanted to top our pool.”
Dewald Human, who leads the Blitzboks in Hong Kong, said the team showed good character against England, coming from behind to win.
“We had to really dig deep today against two quality teams. We made mistakes, but worked hard to correct it and that is pleasing.”
SA v Scotland – tries: Selvyn Davids, Marco Labuschagne, Zain Davids, Stedman Gans, Muller du Plessis. Conversions: Dewald Human (2), Selvyn Davids.
SA v England – tries: Selvyn Davids (2), Stedman Gans (2), Mfundo Ndhlovu. Conversions: Dewald Human, Selvyn Davids (3).
The Cup quarterfinals are (SA times)
04h58: Fiji v Argentina
05h20: South Africa v Spain
05h42: USA v New Zealand
06h07: Kenya vs Scotland