South Africa were soundly beaten by New Zealand in the Cup semi-finals of the Las Vegas Sevens and then downed by Fiji in the third-place play-off.
The Blitzboks lost the latter game 21-15, but still managed to earn sufficient log points to move up to third on the overall IRB Sevens Series log. The Las Vegas tournament was eventually won by Samoa, who beat New Zealand 26-19 in the final. The Kiwis currently lead the series with 92 points, followed by Fiji (87) and then South Africa (76).
Earlier in the day, a physically superior New Zealand side beat South Africa 20-7 in the semi-finals.
Paul Treu’s charges struggled to match the New Zealanders for physicality at the tackle, and this resulted in many a breakdown turnover. On defence, the Blitzboks were also guilty of missing first-time tackles as the larger New Zealanders used their bulk and strength to break the line.
Tries for Bryce Heem, Tomasi Cama and Mark Jackman allowed New Zealand to go to the break with a commanding 15-0 lead. South Africa’s Boom Prinsloo also received a yellow card for a professional foul right on half-time, a sanction that served as a death knell to South Africa’s chances.
With two minutes to play, New Zealand captain DJ Forbes scored in the right-hand corner to secure his side’s place in the final. South Africa finished the game with a try by Branco du Preez.
For all the results, click here.