Philip Snyman © Getty Images
A last minute try by Lachie Anderson allowed Australia to score the upset of the Singapore Sevens on Sunday, beating South Africa 19-17 in their Cup quarter-final.
The victory means this is the first time this season that the Blitzboks won’t be playing in the semifinals after seven finals appearances and will now need to fight it out for fifth place in the competition.
It also means they will face Fiji in their next match, as the Blitzboks’ closest rivals also were shocked – this time 24-19 against USA – and are also out of the Cup competition.
The loss is a blow to the Blitzboks’ hopes of wrapping up the World Series title in Singapore, but with a healthy 23-point lead before this tournament they are still likely to cruise to the title when they get to Paris.
The Blitzboks paid for their poor conversion skills as they scored three tries, but could only convert one and allowed Australia back into the game.
And without six regulars they were always going to be stretched in the tournament, and should return stronger in Paris in the next leg.
Siviwe Soyizwapi opened the scoring for the Blitzboks and was followed onto the scoreboard by Cecil Afrika to give the Blitzboks an early 10-0 lead. But Australia hit back late in the half with a converted try to reduce the gap to seven points.
A Philip Snyman try early in the second half looked to have given the Blitzboks a gap, but a try to Australian captain Tom Lucas gave them the edge and with Dylan Sage receiving a harsh yellow card for a deliberate knock down, the Blitzboks were always going to struggle in the last two minutes.
And when Anderson went over, the writing was on the wall, with the Blitzboks failing for the first time in this year’s World Series.
They will face Fiji now at 10.26am with the fifth place match taking place at 1.29pm (CAT, GMT+2). All games are live on Supersport5 and DSTV Now app.