Blitzboks face Argentina in Las Vegas Cup semis | TeamSA - TeamSA

Blitzboks face Argentina in Las Vegas Cup semis


The Blitzboks have powered into the Cup semi-finals of the Las Vegas Sevens after beating Australia 29-17 in the quarters.

For a side without the services of several first-choice players, either due to injuries or Super Rugby duty, this was a quarter-final performance to savour for the Blitzboks, writes SA Rugby magazine’s Marietta Adams.

South Africa had claimed hard-fought victories over Wales, Canada and England in the pool stage of the tournament, but they turned on the style and proved just too strong for Aussies in this quarter-final. The Blitzboks will next face Argentina, who beat Kenya in their quarter-final.

Australia enjoyed the majority of possession early on and strung together a sustained sequence of phases. South Africa defended well, but an error at the breakdown saw Australia capitalise when John Porch took a quick tap and dived over.

But the Blitzboks replied by scoring one of their best tries of the weekend through captain Philip Snyman. Changing the point of attack to the short side, good interplay between Branco du Preez and Selvyn Davids flummoxed the Australian defence, enabling Snyman to touch down.

South Africa were then handed a double whammy as first Porch scored his second to put Australia back in the lead, and then veteran Kyle Brown had to leave the field with an injury.

However, Brown’s replacement, Ryan Oosthuizen, did not look out of place one bit. The rookie scored after the half-time hooter had sounded to draw level at 12-12.

The Blitzboks seized control of the clash as Cecil Afrika (pictured above) and Davids’ attacking prowess and Snyman and Oosthuizen’s presence at the breakdown proved too much for the Australians to handle.

After getting a scrum penalty, Afrika went on his own and wriggled his way through three tackle attempts for a superb individual effort. Next to score was Ruhan Nel, who applied the finishing touches in the corner when he stretched out to score after Davids won a penalty on the ground and Afrika again breached the defence to create an overlap.

Following his earlier contributions, Davids was then rewarded with his first try in sublime fashion. Receiving a quick ball off the top of a lineout, Davids humbled the Australian defenders when he effortlessly stepped off both feet to avoid contact en route to scoring the try that sealed the win for the Blitzboks.

With seconds remaining and the result well and truly wrapped up, Dylan Sage was shown a yellow card for an unnecessary shoulder charge off the ball. Australia, with a numerical advantage, would go on to score a consolation try but their fate had already been sealed.

The Blitzboks’ semi-final against Argentina will kick off at 23:34 on Sunday night (SA time).

Cup semi-finals (Sunday night)
USA v Fiji (23:12)
South Africa vsArgentina (23:34)

Picture of Cecil Africa courtesy of Images

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