Seabelo Senatla will be a key player for the Blitzboks in their semifinal against England on Sunday. Photo: SA Rugby

CAPE TOWN – South Africa's injury-hit Blitzboks saw off an out-of-sorts New Zealand side 14-5 in Sunday's London Sevens quarterfinal round at Twickenham Stadium in London.

Key players Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez were laid low by injuries after Saturday's pool matches and the Blitzboks went into Sunday's match with a player on the substitutes bench.

However, New Zealand's strong start was spoilt by handling errors and the Blitzboks pounced as Ryan Oosthuizen crossed the line for a try which Justin Gedult converted (7-0). South Africa held on for a 7-0 halftime lead.

New Zealand again enjoyed a surfeit of possession when second-half play wound its course but the Blitzboks secured a turn over which led to a Dylan Sage try at the corner flag. Gedult converted brilliantly from the touchline for a 14-0 lead.

Dylan Collier struck back with an unconverted try for New Zealand and whatever hopes they had of saving the game was dashed as mistakes continued to bedevil their efforts.

The Blitzboks will now go on to play the hosts England in the semifinal round later on Sunday.

England ran out 21-17 winners over Australia in the last of Sunday's Cup quarterfinal matches.

In the other two quarterfinals, matches Ireland and Fiji won through the semis. Fiji, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leaders, were far and away the most impressive on display on Sunday and are favourites to lift the title at Twickenham later on Sunday afternoon. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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