On Friday, they beat Ireland by 14-7, and followed that up with a good 26-17 win over Kenya in their final Pool D clash, but New Zealand - who won all three pool games - proved too strong early on Saturday morning, winning a tight encounter by 12-7.

The South Africans came up just short against the Kiwis, current leaders on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings, with the team in black scoring twice to the solitary Blitzbok try by Mfundo Ndhlovu. Scores were tied 7-7 at the break.

The Blitzboks managed to hold onto the ball much better and at times stretched New Zealand's defence, but the Kiwis held on.

Their first try came from a scrum after the South Africans lost the ball in the Kiwi 22, with Leroy Carter breaking through a tackle to put his team 7-0 ahead.

But the Blitzboks didn't drop their heads and Ndhlovu scored late in the first half, and Ricardo Duarttee's conversion ensured the teams go into the break level on the scoreboard.

The second half delivered more of the same, and the Blitzboks were made to defend a bit more which they did very well, but Cody Vai found space out wide in the 10th minute to edge NZ ahead by five points.

The South Africans tried very hard to breach the Kiwi defence, but a few errors cost them and New Zealand managed to hold on for the win.

In their second game against Kenya, the Blitzboks started very well, scoring three tries in the first half en route to a 26-17 win.

The South Africans conceded two early penalties, but they did well to contain Kenya and pin them in their own half.

With a slight variation in tactics, Shaun Williams scored the Blitzboks' first try from a clever grubber after Ndhlovu won a breakdown turnover. Duarttee's conversion made it 7-0.

Moments later it was 14-0 after Siviwe Soyizwapi scored from the restart, plucking the ball out of the air in front of two Kenyans to run in untouched under the uprights.

Christie Grobbelaar scored the third try from a steal by Duarttee to give the Blitzboks a handy 19-0 lead at the break.

Kenya hit back with a Nelson Oyoo try early in the second half, but then Dononvan Don, on debut in Hong Kong, scored his first try in a Blitzbok jersey when a loose ball was hacked ahead and the Griffons speedster gathered to race all of 60m for the try, with Williams' conversion all but sealing the deal at 26-5.

Kenya scored two more tries, by Jeff Oluoch and Billy Odhiambo, to close the gap, but the Blitzboks did what they had to despite a late yellow card to Ryan Oosthuizen.


Springbok Sevens 7 (7) New Zealand 12 (7)
Springbok Sevens
- Try: Mfundo Ndhlovu. Conversion: Ricardo Duarttee.
New Zealand - Tries: Leroy Carter, Cody Vai. Conversion: Akuila Rokolisoa.

Springbok Sevens 26 (19) Kenya 17 (0)
Springbok Sevens
- Tries: Shaun Williams, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Christie Grobbelaar, Donovan Don. Conversions: Ricardo Duarttee (2), Shaun Williams.
Kenya 17 (0) - Tries: Nelson Oyoo, Jeff Oluoch, Billy Odhiambo. Conversion: Johnstone Olindi.