The Springbok Sevens are through to the quarter-finals of the Edinburgh Sevens and will face Samoa tomorrow at Murrayfield despite losing their last Pool B match 24-27 against traditional rivals New Zealand.
Hosts Scotland faces England in the last eight after topping their pool, London Sevens winners Australia must overcome Fiji while New Zealand must beat Argentina to reach the semi-finals.
Paul Treu’s team took a while to get going against Italy, but in the end they scored a comfortable 49-5 win. They were made to work harder against a tenacious Russian team, who eventually went down 19-7.
South Africa missed the injured Frankie Horne against New Zealand, for who DJ Forbes (2), Tim Mikkelson and Save Takula all scored tries. Fabian Juries, Ryno Benjamin and MJ Mentz replied for the Springbok Sevens.
Mzwandile Stick was superb in the first match against Italy as he converted all seven tries. Emanuele Leonardi scored for Italy in between tries by Benjamin and Cecil Afrika to make the half-time score 14-5. The Springbok Sevens played much better after the break and scored no less than five tries.
Afrika, Chris Dry, Fabian Juries and Benjamin all got their names on the scorers list as South Africa cruised to an easy 49-5 win.
Russia proved a far more difficult opponent for the outgoing Series champions, allowing the Springbok Sevens to score only three tries. Fabian Juries and MJ Mentz scored before Dmitry Perov dotted down. Hoffman Maritz broke the Russian defence after some desperate tackling to score his side’s only try of the second half.
South Africa ended Samoa’s impressive unbeaten run last Sunday in their London Sevens semi-final encounter at Twickenham and Treu will be hoping that his team can repeat that performance tomorrow in Edinburgh.
Rayno Benjamin makes a run against Italy in Edinburgh (Pic: IRB)
If you’re in South Africa, all the action will be televised live on SuperSport from 10h30.
The Cup Quarter-final draw for tomorrow at Murrayfield is:
Samoa vs. South Africa
Scotland vs. England
Australia vs. Fiji
New Zealand vs. Argentina