JOHANNESBURG – The Blitzboks have been far from their best in Singapore, but have still given themselves a chance of claiming another title after qualifying for the Cup quarter-finals.
Neil Powell’s men will take on Australia in a last-eight game on Sunday at 6.52am as they seek to add to the four titles they’ve already picked up in the World Sevens Series.
They were also runners-up in the other three tournaments, including last week in Hong Kong.
A fifth title for the Sevens Boks this weekend would virtually secure them a series victory with just two tournaments to go, in Paris and London next month.
Powell’s men were stunned in their final pool game on Sunday, losing 17-12 to an excellently drilled England side, one of only two sides to get the better of Powell’s men in the series.
Fiji are the other side to have downed the Blitzboks in the current series.
Earlier in the day, the Boks beat France 10-7 and Japan 52-0. England, who topped the pool, will take on last year’s surprise Singapore tournament winners Kenya.
The big star for Powell’s team on Saturday was speedy back Siviwe Soyizwapi, who scored a hat-trick of tries against Japan, while he also scored the Blitzboks’ only two tries in the tense victory against France.
Captain Philip Snyman said his team needed to up their performance in the knockout rounds.
“We are playing against ourselves as well. We need to protect the ball better and not give them (the opposition) turnovers and soft points,” he said.
He added the match against Australia would be a difficult one. “They’re playing pretty well at the moment. We need to be at our best, trust our system and eliminate the silly mistakes we are making at times.
“You need to be able to beat any team in the quarters if you want to win the title, but that only takes you to the semis, where more hard work awaits.”
In the other two quarter-final matches, Fiji take on the USA and New Zealand face Canada.