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Rugby | Sevens

William Small-Smith © Gallo Images

England await Blitzbokke in Tokyo



South Africa will have to overcome England on Sunday to reach the Cup semifinals of the Japan Sevens in Tokyo.

The Springbok Sevens lost their Pool D decider 38-7 against Samoa in the ultimate match on day one which was played in difficult underfoot conditions. Samoa’s comprehensive victory allowed them to finish first on the pools log and they will now face Fiji on Sunday in the quarters. Fiji lost 14-7 to England in the last match of the day.

South Africa struggled from the kick-off to get their hands on the ball and the physical Samoans hardly allowed the Blitzbokke to move out of their half. William Small-Smith scored South Africa’s consolation try in the second half after Samoa led 24-0 at the break.

Tries by captain Kyle Brown and Cornal Hendricks gave South Africa a hard-fought 14-0 opening win against Scotland.

Portugal showed real determination against the Blitzbokke, and the South Africans were made to fought all the way for their second win of the day (12-7).

Hendricks, maintaining his fine form he showed in Hong Kong last week where he scored five times, dotted down for his team’s first score. Branco du Preez made it 12-0 with a few minutes to go in the second half.

However, Portugal refused to give up and they were eventually rewarded when Goncalo Foro scored near the posts, thereby setting up a nervous end to the match.

Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach, said his team did well to win two of their three matches in difficult conditions.

“The knockout phase reward the teams who take their chances and we must make sure we take ours against a very strong England tomorrow. The conditions were tough and we did well to grind out victories over Scotland and Portugal. I shuffled the team a bit for our last match and we must now make sure we are fresh and ready for the quarterfinals,” said Treu.

THE CUP QUARTERFINAL DRAW FOR THE JAPAN SEVENS:

England v South Africa
Wales v Australia
Samoa v Fiji
New Zealand v Argentina

All matches live on SuperSport.

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