VIDEO: BlitzBoks march on
DAY TWO WRAP: The inaugural Spain Sevens served up a treat, with dominant displays, major upsets and individual masterclasses on show at the Stadium Ciudad de Málaga.
South Africa’s men moved towards a fifth consecutive Sevens World Series title by reaching the semifinal with a perfect record, extending their winning streak to 27 in a row.
New Zealand are now the only team to have done better, and their record of 47 straight wins from 2007/08 remains a daunting feat to match.
The BlitzBoks face Australia in Sunday’s semifinal, while England and Argentina meet on the other side of the draw after knocking out France and Ireland respectively.
South Africa headed to Spain as favourites after four consecutive Cup victories, but they were made to work for a 14-0 victory over Canada that earned the BlitzBoks an eighth consecutive semifinal appearance.
The Canadians competed ferociously at the breakdown and had a try disallowed for a knock-on, as no score was registered by half time.
They continued to frustrate the BlitzBoks until the 11th minute, when substitute Ryan Oosthuizen powered over in the corner. A handling error led to Justin Geduld’s try at the end of the match, but Canada exited with their heads held high.
South Africa’s next task will be Australia in a mouthwatering semifinal on Sunday, after the third seeds defeated USA 26-7 thanks to a scintillating second half showing.
Australia started slowly, winning one of their three pool games, and went in level at the break in their quarter-final after Corey Toole’s early try was canceled out by Perry Baker, who gathered a superb Logan Tago offload to dot down in the corner.
But mesmeric footwork from Josh Turner bamboozled the Eagles defence as the Australian danced from the wing to under the posts in the second half, before Dietrich Roache and Maurice Longbottom pounced on loose passes to make it a comfortable win.
A young England side featuring six new faces also reached the last four thanks to a 12-5 win over a much-fancied France side.
All the scoring came in the first half as Hayden Hyde and Blake Boyland crossed either side of a Joachim Trouabal try, and French resistance finished when Varian Pasquet was sin-binned in the final minute for a high tackle.
World Rugby Men’s Sevens player of the year Marcos Moneta was at his sparkling best as Argentina beat Ireland 29-5 to set up a clash with England.
Moneta flew down the right wing to put the Pumas in front before adding a second in virtuoso style by chasing his own grubber kick, dribbling it over the line and touching down.
Luciano Gonzalez walked in a third try before the break and although Conor Phillips struck back, the Irish comeback was short-lived as German Schulz and Gonzalez’s second saw off the challenge.