The Blitzboks crashed to a 26-17 defeat against Samoa in their final fixture on day one at the Adelaide Sevens, which sets up a Cup play-off against Fiji.
The Pacific Islanders dominated the first half as they took advantage of a poor defensive effort from the Springbok Sevens. Samoa scored three unanswered tries before the break for a 21-0 half-time lead.
Paul Treu’s charges delivered a better display in the second stanza as they crossed the chalk thrice as 18-year-old Tshotsho Mbovane grabbed a brace and Paul Delport scored a try. However, it wasn’t enough as Samoa cruised to a nine-point win. The Blitzboks will now face Pool C winners Fiji in the Cup quarter-finals on day two, the team that eliminated them in the same tie last weekend in Hong Kong.
In South Africa’s opener against France, the former displayed an impressive all-round display as they recorded a 19-0 win.
Skipper Kyle Brown scored the only points in the first half as his try put the Blitzboks 5-0 up at the break. Speedster Cecil Afrika then sealed the win with a second-half brace.
Against Japan, South Africa had an early scare as the Asian minnows surged into a 12-0 half-time lead. However, the Blitzboks scored 21 unanswered points after the second stanza restart as Sibusiso Sithole grabbed a double while Afrika also dotted down.
Blitzboks fixtures, Day 1:
South Africa 19 France 0
South Africa 21 Japan 12
South Africa 17 Samoa 26