Johannesburg - The Blitzboks undid much of their good work of day one in the London Sevens when they threw away a commanding lead in their quarter-final against Australia to lose 21-17.
The South Africans were superb in the first half and were 17-0 up, but then made some schoolboy errors in the second half to allow the Aussies back into the game and once the Boks had opened the door a little for them, they stormed through to win the game.
The Boks could not have had a better start to the clash. From the kick-off, the Australians fumbled the ball, the Boks pounced, and the ball was swept out wide to the touchline where skipper Siviwe Soyizwape crashed over in the corner, and the difficult conversion was landed.
The Blitzboks kept their foot on the accelerator from the ensuing kick-off and this time Muller du Plessis scored at the same corner flag.
That corner of Twickenham could not have been more productive for the Blitzboks and their third try was scored in the same spot as the other two when Ronald Brown acrobatically dived over for a 17-0 lead.
As half-time encroached, the Aussies ghosted through tentative defence for a seven-pointer that gave them hope, while the South Africans would have been annoyed at their lapse in concentration.
And it would have hurt all the more when from the kick-off for the second half, the Boks knocked the ball on and the Aussies scored from the possession and suddenly it was 17-14.
Blitzboks coach Neil Powell would have been close to cardiac arrest when his team’s implosion continued when deep in their half a poor pass was dropped, the Aussies scooped up the ball and scooted home for the winning try.
With 16 seconds to go there was unfortunate drama when Muller du Plessis was knocked out, when he slipped and collided with a swinging arm and had to be taken off on a cart.
His team had the possession and camped in the Australians' 22, but could not get the winning try and eventually lost possession.