The Blitzboks looked well on course to finally break their Hong Kong Sevens drought after going unbeaten through their pool.
But Sunday turned out to be a nightmare of epic proportions for the South Africans, as Neil Powell’s team crashed out 21-12 to USA in the Cup quarter-finals, and then were stunned 19-17 by Argentina in the Plate semi-finals.
Their World Series title hopes are now all but over, although Powell will be somewhat relieved that there hasn’t been any change to his team’s log position.
The Blitzboks remain nine points (99) ahead of England in the crucial fourth place – with the top four automatically qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – after the English also lost at the same stages as the South Africans in Hong Kong.
“It was another tough weekend for us. We didn’t reach that potential and that place where we want to be at. We took a couple of step-ups in the pool games, and then a couple of steps down (in the playoffs),” stand-in captain Siviwe Soyizwapi said.
But things are not going to get any easier for the injury-depleted Blitzboks, as they have drawn Hong Kong champions Fiji for this weekend’s Singapore Sevens.
Scotland and Canada make up the rest of Pool A.
In addition, none of Powell’s team made the Hong Kong Dream Team, with Fiji, France and Samoa with two players each, and American flyer Carlin Isles rounding up the seven-man line-up.
Always that special moment for the new family member when he scores his first try. This time, it was Kurt-Lee Arendse who scored a pearler in the Hong Kong Stadium. Let's share that special moment with the young man. #BestOfUs And not too worry, they will get that surname right! pic.twitter.com/M9yGOHgvr8— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) April 7, 2019
Singapore Sevens Draw
Pool A: Fiji, South Africa, Scotland, Canada
Pool B: France, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong
Pool C: USA, England, Kenya, Wales
Pool D: Samoa, New Zealand, Japan, Spain
Hong Kong Sevens Dream Team
Tofatu Solia (Samoa), Tavite Veredamu (France), Melo Derenalagi (Fiji), Jerry Tuwai (Fiji), Gabin Villiere (France), Carlin Isles (USA), Johnny Vaili (Samoa).