no killer punch

SOUTH AFRICA, playing some unbelievable rugby, were denied for the fourth successive time when they went down 12-5 to Fiji in their Pool B match at the IRB Sevens World Series in Las Vegas.

SOUTH AFRICA, playing some unbelievable rugby, were denied for the fourth successive time when they went down 12-5 to Fiji in their Pool B match at the IRB Sevens World Series in Las Vegas.

The day was marred by some average refereeing that stood out like a sore thumb in the new Olympic sport.

Fiji and the Springboks were denied by inconsistent refereeing and the same could be said for the Pool A match where New Zealand sneaked through 12-5 against Australia.

There was also an inconsistency from one referee to the other.

South Africa controlled the match, as they have done so often in the present IRB Series, after falling 5-0 behind at half time but could not break down the Fiji defence.

Again South Africa brought the ball back often, not seeking the outside on a narrow field and also because they don't have the speed. And after Fiji's first score South Africa took over the proceedings, playing the better rugby until Cecil Afrika rounder off to make it 5-all at half time.

A long-range try from a turnover saw Fiji go into the lead 12-5 and despite some wonderful rugby from the Boks they simply didn't have the knock-out punch.

England topped Pool D after struggling against Argentina who had lost both their first two matches to Japan (7-0) and Wales (22-15). Wins against Wales (26-10) and Japan (24-5) saw them through.

South Africa will now meet New Zealand in Sunday's quarter finals while Australia have to face Fiji.

New Zealand were given a torrid time by Australia before winning their match 12-7 to top Pool A after beating Guyana 49-0 and France 31-12.

They seemed vulnerable against the swarming Australia defence, and Paul Treu and his Springbok troops must believe that they can take this one - especially if they consider how they dominated the Kiwis last week but still went down.

Putting opportunities away will be key.

Too often South Africa just could not turn possession and territory into points in this year's campaign despite playing the better rugby.

- Sapa

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