London - New Zealand hammered South Africa’s sevens side into submission, beating them 32-5 in their quarterfinal at the London Sevens on Sunday.
After ending off their pool stages unbeaten, a lot more was expected of the Blitzbokke, even though they entered the tournament without Cecil Afrika and regular captain Kyle Brown.
The downward spiral the team has been on since Hong Kong continued, as it became the third consecutive tournament they were bundled out at the quarterfinal stage, and now they are in real danger of losing their second spot on the HSBC World Series rankings.
Fiji could overtake them if they win the tournament and the Blitzbokke fail to win the Plate, making the second half of the international season a nightmare for the South Africans.
And on a warm London afternoon, they were outclassed, outmuscled and outplayed by the Kiwis who were dominant in every phase of the game.
The Blitzbokke could not match the Kiwis physically, and paid the price for this, as they lost too many balls at the breakdown, were on the wrong side of the referees whistle and made some critical mistakes that saw them swept aside by the defending World Champions in disappointing style.
Sherwin Stowers powered through a poor tackle from Justin Geduld to open the scoring, while Geduld again made a mistake of not collecting the kickoff, allowing the All Blacks to snaffle the ball from under his nose for Tim Mikkelson to eventually score and put his team 12-0 up.
And when Scott Curry crossed just before halftime, the All Blacks were 17-0 up and cruising with the South Africans not even in it.
Branco du Preez managed to grab a try back just after the break, taking a quick tap to catch the defence napping but when he missed a simple conversion, you could tell it wasn’t going to be the Blitzbokke’s day.
It got worse as Ben Lam took a turnover ball from another breakdown and sprinted down the touchline to score, and Ambrose Curtis finished off the massacre with a try near the end.
The Blitzbokke now face Samoa in their plate semifinal, a game they must win if they are to keep their second spot on the log.
Tries: Sherwin Stowers, Tim Mikkelson, Scott Curry, Ben Lam, Gillies Kaka, Ambrose Curtis
Conversions: Gillies Kaka
Tries: Branco du Preez