Cape Town - The Blitzboks defeated New Zealand 14-7 in their Cup
quarter-final match on Sunday morning at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas to
book a semi-final showdown with Australia at the USA event.
Seabelo Senatla scored two first half tries for the South
Africans, who then delivered a huge defensive effort to restrict New Zealand to
just one score in the second half.
Senatla has now scored nine tries in four matches at the
three-day tournament, which is the fifth stop on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens
The other semi-final will be contested between the USA and
Fiji, who currently share a three way tie on top of the World Series standings
with South Africa and New Zealand.
In the other three quarter-final matches, the USA defeated
Kenya 26-14, Fiji powered to a 43-7 win over Japan and Australia edged
Argentina by 26-12.
Tournament hosts, the USA, meet Fiji at 22h50 on Sunday (SA
time), while starting time for the Blitzboks versus Australia clash is
Neil Powell, the Blitzboks coach said he was happy
with the New Zealand result, but he also cautioned that the Australians will be
a tough nut to crack.
“I’m pleased with the way we controlled the match in
especially the first half against New Zealand. We could have pulled away from
them but we made two mistakes towards the end of the half, when they had a
player in the bin,” said Powell.
Powell was however satisfied with the composure and
discipline of his side in the second half, when they were put under strong
pressure by New Zealand. Looking forward to the Australian encounter, Powell
said his squad can expect a huge tactical battle.
“Australia is always a difficult side to play because they
are strong, very organised and structured. They will also bring a very good
tactical challenge to the game. However, these are the type of matches you look
forward to and it is another opportunity for the players to show what they can
do as we also prepare for the Olympics in August,” reckons Powell.
Earlier on Saturday morning the Blitsboks defeated
the United States 29-0, scoring five tries in the process, to finish unbeaten
and top of Pool D. Chris Dry dived over for his 70th World Series
try to open the scoring, and he was followed shortly by Senatla, who sliced
through a gap after taking a quick penalty tap.
Senatla scored his second try after the restart, while Dylan
Sage and Cecil Afrika also joined in the try scoring act to make the final
In their quarter-final clash against rivals New Zealand, the
Blitzboks controlled much of the play and it came as no surprise when
Senatla ran in twice to score. The Kiwis launched a strong fightback in the
second half and was rewarded with a Lewis Ormond try. But the Blitzboks then came with a massive defensive display to shut out the Kiwis.
Senatla is the top scorer at the moment and he also leads
the overall points scoring chart in Las Vegas thanks to his tally of nine
SA results on day two of the Las Vegas Sevens:
Pool D match:
Blitzboks 29, United States 0
Blitzboks 14, New Zealand 7.
Cup semi-finals schedule on Sunday (SA time, live on
22h50 United States vs Fiji
23h12 South Africa vs Australia
The Las Vegas top try scorers are:
Seabelo Senatla (SA) 9
Phil Burgess (England) 4
Colins Injera (Kenya) 4
Leading points scorers:
Seabelo Senatla (SA) 45
Justin Geduld (SA) 33
Biko Adema (Kenya) 28