Siviwe ‘Shakes’ Soyizwapi scored twice, but it was not enough for the Blitzboks as they were knocked out of the Las Vegas Sevens at the Cup semi-final stage in a 12-10 loss to Argentina on Sunday.
The hard-tackling Argentines put the defending Las Vegas champions off their rhythm with swarming defence, which the Blitzboks were unable to counter.
Neil Powell’s team kept on running at the South Americans, where a few chip kicks or grubbers would’ve perhaps garnered greater reward.
The tactics played right into the hands of Argentina, who displayed greater hunger in defence and played with more freedom and creativity on attack.
The Blitzboks did score first, though, as playmaker Cecil Afrika changed direction and found Soyizwapi in space, and the former Southern Kings fullback just got in at the corner.
But Argentina didn’t stop probing the spaces around the breakdowns, and one such offload inside their own 22 saw Matias Osadczuk race away to put his team into a 7-5 lead as Gaston Revol got the crucial conversion.
Soyizwapi put the Blitzboks back in the lead when he was unmarked on the left from a long Afrika pass, but as he neared the tryline, he was ankle-tapped and appeared to spill the ball as he went over.
The TMO, though, awarded the five-pointer, but as it was close to the touchline, the conversion was missed by Afrika.
That provided the opening for Argentina, and in a breathtaking move that started just outside their 22, they carried the ball all the way into South African territory.
After Osadczuk was tackled by Selwyn Davids five metres from the tryline and close to the touchline, he had the presence of mind – under pressure from Zain Davids as well, to release the ball on the ground and pick it up again and offload to Renzo Barbier to score the winning try.
The Blitzboks will now face Fiji in the bronze-medal final (2am SA time) after the islanders lost 19-7 to a Perry Baker-inspired USA, who take on Argentina at 2.30am in the Cup final.
Blitzboks – Tries: Siviwe Soyizwapi (2).
Argentina – Tries: Matias Osadczuk, Renzo Barbier. Conversion: Gaston Revol (1).