The South Africans lost 33-24 against New Zealand in a dramatic match and then 26-7 to Fiji to finish last in Pool B and winless so far in Spain. To add insult to injury, Dylan Sage cried off with a knee injury and is an unlikely starter on Sunday.

The match against New Zealand touched on the bizarre, with the Blitzboks given three yellow cards in quick succession for tackle infringements and at one stage they only had four players on the field to front up to the New Zealanders.

Despite that – and even scoring a try with five players on the field – the final say belonged to the Kiwis in a match where the lead changed hands six times.

Two tries in quick succession by Christie Grobbelaar and Quewin Nortje eliminated the advantage an early Dylan Collier try gave New Zealand, before a penalty try to the Kiwis cancelled out a Selvyn Davids try.

The second half was again helter skelter, but Moses Leo had the final say with his try after the final hooter, giving New Zealand the edge.

Against Fiji, the Blitzboks looked flat against an opponent who looked full of life. The Fijian offloading game asked too many questions of the defence and they were up 21-0 at the break.

The second half saw a better SA effort, but in the end, they came up short, not only in the match, but on the day.

The Blitzboks' next assignment is against Australia in the fifth-place semi-final, which kicks off at aahaa (SA time).


South Africa 24 (10) New Zealand 33 (14)
SA – Tries: Christie Grobbelaar, Quewin Nortje (2), Selvyn Davids. Conversions: Justin Geduld, Tristan Leyds.
NZ – Tries: Dylan Collier, Penalty Try, Leroy Carter (2), Moses Leo. Conversions: Andrew Knewstubb (2), Akuila Rokolisoa.

South Africa 7 (0) Fiji 26 (21)
SA – Try: Rosko Specman. Conversion: Tristan Leyds.
Fiji – Tries: Jerry Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqo, Tira Wilagi, Viwa Naduvalo. Conversions: Nacuqo (3).