Things are not going to get any easier for Neil Powell’s Blitzboks, as they have drawn Hong Kong champions Fiji for this weekend’s Singapore Sevens. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

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.

Stand-in captain Siviwe Soyizwapi speaks about what went wrong at the Hong Kong Sevens. Audio: SA Rugby


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.

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).

@ashfakmohamed


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