Defending World Sevens Series champions the Blitzboks were stunned by Chile in a 5-5 draw at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas on Saturday morning (SA time).
Having beaten Japan comfortably enough 26-0 in their first Pool C match, the South Africans nearly came a cropper against the South Americans, who are not regular World Series participants and were invited to take part at the Sam Boyd Stadium.
Branco du Preez opened the scoring for Neil Powell’s team, but Benjamin de Vidts levelled matters for the Chileans.
JC Pretorius almost pulled it through for the Blitzboks late in the game, but a knock-on saw the try not being awarded.
It was a much better performance against Japan, with Du Preez, Impi Visser, Selvyn Davids and Mfundo Ndhluvo all dotting down in the 26-0 victory.
“I don’t think we were worthy to wear the jersey tonight – especially this last game,” Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman said after the day’s play.
“Really, it was poor, and we didn’t capitalise and couldn’t use our opportunities. We had ball and then we just give it away when we go into their 22.
“We were lucky – I think if it was a core team who were maybe a little bit more experienced on the circuit, they would’ve put us away by quite some points.
“So ja, definitely unacceptable, and we need to bounce back tomorrow morning.”
That is when the Blitzboks face England (12.10am Sunday morning SA time) in what could be a must-win Pool C game after the English breezed past Chile (22-0) and Japan (31-12), as Chile are likely to beat Japan in their final group match.
The South Africans will know exactly what they need to do, as the Chile-Japan game will be played earlier (11.48pm SA time on Saturday night).
“Not acceptable” Straight talking from Blitzbok captain @snymanphilip after the 5-5 draw against @chilerugby1 in their second pool match #LasVegas7s. @CastleFreeSA @FNBSA @ASICSRugby @ASICS_ZA pic.twitter.com/Q9sLmSFaMd— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) March 2, 2019