Blitzboks down Australia to reach last four in Las Vegas

Ruhan Nel of South Africa runs for a try against Australia during day two of the USA Sevens Rugby tournament, part of the World Rugby Sevens Series, March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ruhan Nel of South Africa runs for a try against Australia during day two of the USA Sevens Rugby tournament, part of the World Rugby Sevens Series, March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Image: David Becker / AFP

The Blitzboks qualified for their fifth consecutive Cup semi-finals of the 2017/18 HSBC World Sevens Series on Sunday after beating Australia in the quarterfinals.

The 29-17 win over the Aussies has booked the Series log leaders a semi-final against surprise package Argentina‚ who beat Kenya in the last eight.

Olympic Champions Fiji‚ who also won round four of the current series in Hamilton last month‚ will take on hosts the USA in the other semi-final.

With both England and New Zealand losing in the quarterfinals‚ the Blitzboks will extend their lead over those two teams‚ although Fiji could close in on the top of the standings‚ depending on the remaining results.

Earlier on day two‚ South Africa also outplayed England 24-19‚ to top Pool B after beating Wales and Canada on day one.

Springbok Sevens captain‚ Philip Snyman‚ was proud of the combined effort of the squad and very pleased that a number of younger players used the opportunity to show their class.

Muller du Plessis made his debut against Australia and both Selvyn Davids and Ryan Oosthuizen scored tries for the first time in the Blitzboks jersey.

“We are on tour as a family and we treasure those special moments with the new players.

"We stick with each other in the bad times‚ but also enjoy the good moments together. That is part of what makes this team so special‚” said Snyman.

The 51-tournament veteran feels the team are starting to believe and find each other as they developed as a squad after coming through a tough Pool and also beating Australia.

“We really had to dig deep against the Aussies‚ who were very physical‚” Snyman said.

“However‚ to finish the match with four youngsters on the field was a massive boost for the system. Those guys did well and they will still go far in their careers.”

Argentina awaits and Snyman is aware of their abilities. “They are also very consistent this year‚ with lots of speed and physicality. We need to start all over on Sunday.”

Springboks Sevens assistant coach‚ Renfred Dazel‚ who said they would do a proper analysis on the South Americans before the semifinal‚ echoed this sentiment.

“They are a very direct team and love to do lots of off-loads as well. We will have to look at ways to outsmart them.”

Head-to-Head vs Argentina:

South Africa won 40‚ Argentina 12‚ 1 Draw. Average score: 22-10.

Last met: London 2017‚ SA won 24-7.

Cup Semifinals: (SA time):

23h11: USA v Fiji

23h34: SA v Argentina

X