Blitzbokke vs NZ in PE final
Cecil Afrika (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Blitzbokke have reached the final of the Port Elizabeth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series after beating Samoa in their semi-final on Saturday.Click here for live fixtures and results
South Africa won 12-7, after leading 12-0 at half-time and will now play New Zealand - who beat England 19-14 in their semi-final - in the showpiece match later on Saturday evening.
Samoa started well, threatening the South African line early on, but veteran Uale Mai knocked the ball on in a tackle five metres from the goal-line.
South Africa then won a penalty from the resulting scrum and launched their first attack from which speedster Branco du Preez rounded off after a brilliant side-step. Du Preez converted his own try from right out in front to put the Blitzbokke 7-0 up.
The middle period of the first half was marred by handling errors from both sides but South Africa kept the territorial advantage.
And when Samoa's Afa Aiono received a yellow card for a dangerous shoulder charge, the home side cashed in with Bernado Botha going over in the corner on the stroke of half-time. (12-0)
South Africa kept their territorial dominance early in the second half and threatened the Samoan line but the Islanders held firm.
Their first real chance came with two-and-half minutes left but Du Preez narrowly missed a penalty shot at goal.
South Africa kept on attacking a resolute and committed Samoan defence, but time was running for the Samoans and when they finally managed to launch an attack inside the South African half, the game was all but over.
Paul Perez scored after the hooter had sounded to give Samoa at least something to shout about.