LONDON – The Blitzboks let their first half advantage slip as they went down 21-17 to New Zealand in their fifth place semifinal play-off match at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London, England, on Sunday afternoon.
The Kiwis opened the scoring when Seone Molia scored an opportunistic try in the second minute with Vilimoni Koroi adding the conversion.
Despite the New Zealanders showing signs of lengthening their lead, it was the South Africans who showed character to work space for Muller du Plessis to score a brace of tries before the break, to leave the score at 10-7.
Andrew Knewstubb took advantage of some inconsistent SA tackling to put the New Zealanders ahead with a converted try at 14-7.
However, Stedman Gans produced a superb running display to outsmart the men in black, and with Selvyn Davids adding the conversion, SA were back in the lead at 17-14.
The South African defensive line remained firm despite being on the receiving end of several New Zealand attacks, but eventually Tim Mikkelson found some space to round off and converted himself to make the score 21-17 in his team's favour.
African News Agency (ANA)