SYDNEY – The Blitzbokke booked a place in Sunday's quarterfinals of the HSBC World Rugby Seven in Sydney, Australia, after topping Pool D.
However, the South Africans had to rely on a superior points difference in order to finish top of their pool, after going down to Australia 29-21 in their last match on Saturday.
The final pool results show SA, Australia and Argentina ended the day with 7 points from 3 games.
The Blitzbokke were stunned into conceding three tries in the opening five minutes of their match against Australia before Justin Geduld touched down for a converted try.
Despite the 17-7 setback at the break, the South Africans showed determination in the second period, with Geduld getting a second five-pointer.
Stedman Gans put the Blitzbokke ahead with four minutes remaining, but two late tries by Josh Coward and Nicholas Malouf sealed it for the hosts.
Malouf's try was worth its weight in gold for the Australians who needed to beat the South Africans by five points to advance to the semifinals ahead of Argentina.
In the earlier games, the South Africans record a resounding 45-5 win over Tonga and a 25-10 victory over Argentina.
The Argentinians were the surprise package on the day in beating the Australians 29-14 in their opener.
South Africa 21 (7): Tries Justin Geduld (2), Stedman Gans. Conversion: Branco du Preez, Selvyn Davids (2)
Australia 29 (17): Jeral Skelton, Lewis Holland (2), Josh Coward, Nicholas Malouf Conversion: John Porch, Coward
African News Agency (ANA)