Dylan Sage opened the scoring for the Blitzboks against Canada on Saturday. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

PRETORIA – The Blitzboks finished on top of Pool B with a 26-7 win against Canada and will face New Zealand in the Hong Kong Sevens cup quarter-final on Sunday.

The South Africans again managed to go through their pool matches unbeaten, registering wins against France (17-10) on Friday, followed by a convincing 35-10 win over Kenya earlier on Saturday before their late surge against Canada ensured that they progress to their seventh consecutive playoff.

Neil Powell’s men have played in every final this season, winning four tournaments and losing just two, to England in Cape Town and Vancouver.

However, New Zealand are the same team that beat the Blitzboks in last year’s quarter-final in Hong Kong.

The Blitzboks were able to top Pool B, but were made to sweat as Canada provided some resistance before the floodgates opened in the dying moments of the game.

The South Africans made the perfect start, with Dylan Sage cantering over in the second minute, but the North Americans struck back three minutes later to level the score at 7-7 by halftime.

Canada continued to take the confrontational approach which played into the hands of the South Africans and the Blitzboks were rewarded when they gave the ball some air.

Replacement Ruhan Nel crashed over after running a sublime line to take a short pass from Cecil Afrika, before Afrika sliced the Canadian defence with his speed to give the series leaders a 19-7 advantage.

The Sevens Boks showed their class with the last try when Siviwe Soyizwapi gathered a deft chip by Nel to swallow dive and record a comprehensive 26-7 win.

Powell says he was very pleased with the way in which his side performed on the second day, but said they will have to put all of their efforts into overcoming New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

“I’m very happy with the second day. The guys really made the step up from our performance against France on day one,” he said.

“We won’t focus too much on what history says about us not having ever won in Hong Kong (ahead of the New Zealand quarter-final), but we will look at the things that have made us successful this season,” Powell said.

South Africa will face the Kiwis at 6.06am SA time on Sunday.

Hong Kong Cup Quarter-Finals

4.58am: Australia v Argentina

5.20am: Fiji v Canada

5.42am: USA v England

6.06am: South Africa v New Zealand

Independent Media