Six-man Argentina upset Blitzboks in Tokyo

It was heartbreak for the South Africans who just failed to get any rhythm in the match and were stretched on defence, despite facing only six opponents for most of the 14 minutes of action.

Argentina defeated the Blitzboks in their Olympic Sevens quarterfinal match on 27 July 2021. Picture: Anton Geyser/SASPA/SASI

JOHANNESBURG - The Blitzboks crashed out of medal contention at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after they lost their quarterfinal to Argentina by 19-14 at Tokyo Stadium on Tuesday.

It was heartbreak for the South Africans who just failed to get any rhythm in the match and were stretched on defence, despite facing only six opponents for most of the 14 minutes of action.

Selvyn Davids got the Blitzboks on the board with a converted try in the second minute after a great run by Kurt-Lee Arendse, as they started very well to take a 7-0 lead.

A red card one minute later to Argentina's experienced Gaston Revol for a dangerous tackle on Selvyn Davids seemed to galvanise the South Americans as they took a 14-7 lead at the break courtesy of two tries by Marcos Moneta.

Their third try, by captain Santiago Alvarez, was scored midway through the second half.

Moments later the Blitzboks were given a chance after being awarded a penalty try and the Argentineans, who played with massive passion and composure, were reduced to five with a yellow card, but they managed to win the restart, kick the ball out and win the game.

Earlier on Tuesday, South Africa progressed to the quarterfinal against Argentina after finishing top of Pool C. The Blitzboks secured a clean sweep of their pool by beating USA 17-12, having secured 33-14 and 14-5 wins over Ireland and Kenya respectively on Monday. Argentina finished second in Pool B and on Tuesday easily outplayed South Korea in their final pool match.

New Zealand beat Canada in the last eight, with the USA going down to Great Britain. Fiji played Australia in the fourth semifinal.

In their match against the USA, the South African defence held sway in a match that was played in a slight drizzle, impacting on the passing game of both teams. Their pressing defence when the USA had the ball further complicated matters for the Americans, who made a number of errors under pressure.

The USA did make a fast start with a Joe Schroeder try but were then bogged down in their half. South Africa did not release the choke chain and forced turnovers and penalties, with Selvyn Davids getting the first score, going over in the corner for a 5-5 scoreline at the break.

Davids then turned provider, racing Stedman Gans through a gap, with the outside centre scoring under the sticks for Davids to convert for a 12-5 lead.

The playmaker got his brace a minute later, opening a 17-5 gap on the Americans, who could not get their speedsters into the game.

Brett Thompson touched down under the posts to cut the USA’s deficit to five points after South Africa messed up a scrum, but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat as the clock caught up with them.

Scorers South Africa: - Tries: Selvyn Davids (2), Stedman Gans. Conversion: Davids.

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