CAPE TOWN – Two tries in the last minute enabled New Zealand to stay in contention for the title on the first day of the World Rugby Cape Town Sevens tournament at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
New Zealand, winners of the opening tournament of the 2018/2019 season in Dubai last weekend, faced elimination before the quarter-final stage for the first time in their history until they rallied to beat hosts South Africa 26-21 in the final match of the day.
An injury-hit New Zealand side needed to win to qualify for the knockout stage after suffering a shock 21-17 defeat against Samoa in an earlier Pool A match.
Inside the last minute, South Africa's Blitzboks led 21-14 but Sione Molia scored a late converted try to draw the teams level.
There was just enough time for New Zealand to kick off, South Africa were unable to secure possession and Vilimoni Koroi scored in the left corner.