LA Sevens: Blitzboks set up semi-final clash against New Zealand

South Africa will face New Zealand in the second semi-final of the Los Angeles Sevens. Kick off is at 23:45 SAST. They beat the USA 12-10 in a tense quarterfinal on Sunday.

Get live scores from LA Sevens semifinals here.

Tries from Ryan Oosthuizen and JC Pretorious, as well as the only conversion of the game by Selvyn Davis, helped South Africa to spoil the hosts’ party and ensure that there will be a new champion at this year’s USA leg of the tournament.

The Blizboks finished day one unbeaten, with wins over Kenya and Canada and a draw against a plucky Irish side.

While they do have a solid record against the Americans, on home turf, though, the USA are a tricky side. The hosts put in a monumental defensive shift and rattled the Blitzboks more than once.

Right from the start, the Eagles dominated the small battles.

Carlin Isles opened the scoring for the USA inside the first minute, beating two defenders on his way to dotting down in the corner. The conversion was missed.

South Africa thought they had a try back through Stedman Gans soon after, but Cecil Afrika was blown for a forward pass. On the replay, it looked like a harsh call.

But there was no time to waste and Isles scored again moments later. Again, the conversion was missed.

The Blitzboks eventually managed to claw five points back through a powerful Ryan Oosthuizen try. That took the score to 5-10 at the break.

The second half was a battle of brawn and saw the home side put in a defensive shift for the textbooks. But the Blitzboks kept their cool and their discipline with Pretorius scoring under the posts, making for an easy conversion to help the South Africans take a 12-10 lead with moments left on the clock.

A last roll of the dice from the USA came to nought as South Africa snaffled possession from a scrum and kicked into touch to bring an end to a tense clash, a minute after the hooter had sounded.

They will now face New Zealand in the semi-finals later on Sunday.

The All Blacks beat France 29-14 in their quarterfinal encounter earlier in the day. New Zealand currently lead the World Series standings with the Blitzboks in second place.

Fiji and Australia will contest the first semi-final which kicks off at 23:23 SAST. Fiji beat England 26-5 in the quarterfinals while Australia demolished Ireland 36-0.

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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.