Cape Town - The Blitzboks were stunned at the Cape Town Sevens on Saturday when they went down 14-12 to African neighbours Kenya.
Earlier South Africa had beaten Zimbabwe 26-5, and they must now beat England at 19:56 on Saturday night if they are to progress through to the Cup quarter-finals.
The Blitzboks scored first through Seabelo Senatla, but Kenya hit back with tries through Collins Injera and Willy Ambaka to take a surprise 14-7 lead into the half time break.
Chris Dry was next to score for the Blitzboks in the left corner, but Justin Geduld's conversion was wide and South Africa were down 14-12 going into the final three minutes.
There was a moment of drama in the final minute when Cheslin Kolbe dived over in the right hand corner to send the 48 000 fans at Cape Town Stadium delirious, but replays showed that he had knocked the ball on just before the line.