England overwhelmed a listless Blitzboks 22-5 in the Dubai Cup quarter-final on Saturday.
The South Africans produced another lacklustre display after going down 17-12 to Argentina in their last pool match.
That resulted in them facing a tougher playoff in the shape of England, and it came back to haunt them as the opposition took charge from the start.
The English appeared more aggressive and cohesive, and it took just two minutes for captain Tom Mitchell to score the opening try.
The Blitzboks eventually got some rhythm going on attack before halftime, and Ryan Oosthuizen made it all the way to the tryline.
But he was denied a five-pointer by Michael Ellery, who knocked the ball out of the South African’s hands over the line.
Dan Bibby then sparked a counter-attack, and a wonderful passage of play saw Mitchell running in his second try, which he converted for a 12-0 lead.
The Blitzboks again couldn’t find the gaps on attack, with Branco du Preez caught in possession near the halfway line, and Tom Bowen dotted down within seconds as the ball was moved to the left for a 17-0 advantage at the break.
Neil Powell’s team had it all to do in the second half to stay in the tournament, but disaster struck as Rosko Specman’s offload in the tackle was intercepted by Phil Burgess near the SA 22, and he went all the way to score.
Selvyn Davids got a consolation try, but a lot of hard work lies ahead for the Blitzboks to regain their touch with ball-in-hand ahead of next weekend’s Cape Town Sevens.
🎥 Reaction: @EnglandRugby book their spot in the semi-finals after an incredible win over @Blitzboks! We heard from England’s superstar, @Dan_Norton4 after the game #Dubai7s #HSBC7s pic.twitter.com/vvdNKVDlBh— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) December 1, 2018
Blitzboks 5 – Try: Selvyn Davids.
England 22 – Tries: Tom Mitchell (2), Tom Bowen, Phil Burgess. Conversion: Mitchell (1).@ashfakmohamed