South Africa, the defending London Sevens champions, won two of their three pool matches on Saturday to book themselves a Cup quarter-final clash against New Zealand on Sunday at Twickenham.

South Africa scored two good victories over Portugal and Scotland and were just 12 seconds away from what would have been a deserved victory over Australia. The Aussies, trailing at 12-17, snatched victory from the Blitzbokke in dramatic fashion when their skipper, Ed Jenkins, burst through for the match-winning try to make the final score 19-17.

The Blitzbokke played with much determination and were clearly out to bounce back to form following their disappointing showing last week in Glasgow.

In their final pool match before a HSBC Sevens World Series record crowd of more than 60 000 spectators, it was South Africa who took the lead after a steady build-up. Cornal Hendricks scored in the corner, but Ed Stubbs leveled matters shortly thereafter when the Aussies orchestrated a breakaway to score at the opposite side of the field.

Australia went into the break 12-5 in front after Con Foley dived over under the posts. But shortly after the restart Steven Hunt leveled the scores again after skillful play from his skipper, Kyle Brown. A minute later, Hunt raced away for his second try of the match after he pounced onto a loose ball (17-12).

Frankie Horne was then yellow carded and from the resultant set piece Jenkins raced through to score the winning try.

Earlier in the day the Blitzbokke opened their account with a comfortable 41-0 win over Portugal, with Jamba Ulengo and Hunt helping themselves to two tries each. They followed that with a 20-5 victory over Scotland. Ulengo scored another brace while Brown and Branco du Preez each scored a try.

The Cup Quarter-finals for the London Sevens are: New Zealand vs. South Africa Fiji vs. England Australia vs. Argentina Samoa vs. Spain – Sapa