The Blitzboks started their Canada Sevens adventure on a good note, and then got pumped by their arch-rivals New Zealand, but Neil Powell’s men are still safely through to the Cup quarter-finals in this sixth World Rugby Sevens Series event.
The South Africans will next face Australia in the quarter-finals (8.08pm SA time kickoff on Sunday) in Vancouver.
It has been a topsy-turvy few weeks for the injury-hit South African side, but they put all their problems to one side in their opening two games in Pool D on Saturday night, sweeping past Russia and then Scotland.
In their opening match in Canada, the Blitzboks had far too much firepower and class for Russia as they won 38-7, and then edged Scotland 21-0 in a tight game.
Powell’s men relied heavily on turnover ball and mistakes made by the Scots to pull ahead, but they wouldn’t get so lucky against the New Zealanders.
The men in black were far too strong and quick for the South Africans in the final pool game, outmuscling the Blitzboks on several occasions to win 33-14.
It is the first time this season (in five previous events) that the South Africans have finished second in pool play.
The Sevens All Blacks were out of the blocks quickly, and exposed the Blitzboks’ inexperience as they scored three first-half tries to be in a dominant position at the interval.
While Philip Snyman’s men hit back with a brace of tries in the second spell, the All Blacks were always on top and finished in style with further scores.
If Powell’s men do manage to get past a much-improved Australia in the quarters, they will face the winner of Fiji and Argentina in the semi-finals.