The energy and creativity that was missing from the Springbok Sevens’ make-up on day one at the Cape Town Stadium was back as the Blitzboks played with much greater zest and hunger in a five-try-to-one victory.
South Africa will now take on France in the first Cup semi-final at 4.34pm, while Kenya will face Argentina in the second playoff game (4.56pm).
That spring in their step was evident early on against Australia as they recovered from conceding an immediate try to Pama Fou by hitting back through playmaker Justin Geduld. Speed machine Seabelo Senatla created the opening on the right-hand side by bursting through a few tackles to get within five metres of the tryline, and the ball was recycled for Geduld to cross the whitewash.
The Blitzboks maintained the pressure on the Australians with a smothering rush defence that forced handling errors by the visitors, and when they got ball-in-hand, the South Africans were deadly.
Juan de Jongh was the next Blitzbok to prise open the Aussie defence, and after a quick tap penalty, Senatla was rewarded for his hard work with a five-pointer.
Then Rosko Specman’s quick thinking saw him take a quick tap penalty from inside the Blitzboks’ half, and he sped away and fed Geduld, who came up just short of the tryline. But Philip Snyman was unmarked out wide on the left, and that handed the South Africans a 15-5 halftime lead.
Neil Powell’s team showed more ingenuity on attack in the second half when Snyman booted the ball downfield into the Australian 22, and from a resultant scrum, they worked a training-ground move down the blindside for De Jongh to dot down smartly.
But the try of the day was a long-range one that will be remembered for a long time at Cape Town Stadium. After the Australians coughed up possession once more inside the Blitzboks’ 22, the ball was shifted to Kwagga Smith on the right, and the Lions loose forward spotted a gap and galloped over 70 metres to outstrip the Australian defence and send the sizable midday crowd into raptures.
It was unfortunate that Geduld missed all five conversions, but coach Powell and captain Kyle Brown will be feeling a lot more positive about the Blitzboks’ chances of winning the South African leg of the Sevens series for a third consecutive year after such an improved performance.
In the other Cup quarter-finals, Kenya ensured that there are two African teams in the semi-finals with a hard-working 26-10 win over USA, while France produced a stunning upset to beat World Sevens Series champions Fiji 17-14.
New Zealand didn’t make it to the last-four despite a spirited second-half fight back against Argentina, going down 22-19 in extra time.
Springbok Sevens – Tries: Justin Geduld, Seabelo Senatla, Philip Snyman, Juan de Jongh, Kwagga Smith.
Australia – Try: Pama Fou.
Cup Quarter-Final Results
France 17 Fiji 14, South Africa 25 Australia 5, Argentina 22 New Zealand 19, Kenya 26 USA 10.
Cup Semi-Final Line-Up
South Africa vs France (4.34pm), Kenya vs Argentina (4.56pm).
Cup Final: 7.30pm kick-off.
Original source: Senatla notches 100th for Bok Sevens