Blitzboks regroup for playoffs

There was no time for South African tears on Saturday night after a heart-breaking loss against New Zealand as the Blitzboks got orders to march against Scotland in Sunday’s quarter-finals.

Courtesy of impressive victories against Samoa (22-12) and Zimbabwe (43-0) the Cape Town Sevens hosts topped Pool A despite surrendering a seven-point lead in the last of Saturday’s pool matches, a 26-21 reverse against the Kiwis, champions in Dubai last week.

South Africa finished sixth in desert and coach Neil Powell chose to see the positives after a much better showing in Cape Town.

“It was pretty frustrating… but I am pleased with our effort, we are definitely improving from Dubai and I think we had a much better Day One,” said Powell.

A win against Scotland will likely cue the Blitzboks for a semi-final showdown against Fiji, who will be expected to make light work of Spain, a surprise entry to the Cup playoffs.

“We beat Scotland in Dubai last week,” added Powell. “We are improving no doubt, but come Sunday we will have to make even more improvement to finish our home tournament on a good note.”

It remains to be seen whether Muller du Plessis will be cleared to play. The young flyer did not feature against Zimbabwe or New Zealand after suffering an injury against Samoa. Selvyn Davids is on standby if Du Plessis doesn’t get the green light.

The alternate route to the decider features Australia versus New Zealand in a playoff to reach the semi-final against the winner of the quarter-final between USA and England.

Cape Town Sevens, Cup quarter-finals (Sunday):
SA v Scotland (12.04pm)
Fiji v Spain (12.26pm)
Australia v New Zealand (12.48pm)
USA v England (13.10pm)

— Staff Writer

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer