Argentina rallied from 12-0 down to knock South Africa out of the Rugby World Cup Sevens with a dramatic 14-12 victory over Paul Treu’s men in Dubai.
The South African Women’s team, however, continued their excellent showing at the tournament with a 15-7 victory over the more fancied Spain. The SA women now tackle Australia in one of the semi-finals at 16h46 (local time).
Captain Mpho Mbiyozo and Ryno Benjamin scored tries to give SA an early lead in front of a packed arena in Dubai. Argentina then got into their stride after the break and their two tries, both scored by Martin Bustos Moyano and converted by Martin Rodriques, was enough to saw them through to the last four.
In the women’s quarter-final on the outside pitch, Laura Llado gave Spain an early lead when she ran unchallenged for a converted try. But South Africa kept their composure and upped a defensive gear.
Lorinda Brown, Natasha Hofmeester and Thamie Felani all scored as the SA women took firmly took control of the game for a ground-breaking SA win.
Comment from Paul Treu, Springbok Sevens coach:
“We lost because our defense let us down. We never really committed to the first-time tackle and that allowed Argentina to get back into the game.
“This so disappointing because the same happened to us in Wellington and also in San Diego in the IRB World Series, where we worked so hard for a lead only to gave it away through poor tackling.
“All credit to Argentina, though. We know what they’re capable of and they definitely used their opportunities much better than us. Our season is not over yet – we still have a major goal to aim for in the World Series and will have to work much harder if we want to succeed.”
Denver Wannies, SA Women’s coach:
“I am so thrilled for the women. They played with so much commitment and their confidence grew as the match progressed. We came here not knowing what to expect because we have not really tested ourselves at this level yet, but the girls took their chances and now we are in the semifinals.”
Cup Semifinals (men):
Wales vs. Samoa
Argentina vs. Kenya
Cup Semifinals (Women)
South Africa vs. Australia
United States vs. New Zealand