South Africa finished fourth at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas on Monday morning after the Blitzbokke lost their Third Place playoff by 21-15 against Fiji.
Despite their defeat, the Blitzbokke managed to move up one place to third overall on the HSBC Sevens World Series log with 76 points.
Samoa beat New Zealand 26-19 in a thrilling Cup Final to deny the current World Series champions a third successive tournament title this season. The Kiwis increased their lead in the standings to 92 points, followed by Fiji on 87 and then South Africa.
Frankie Horne opened the scoring against Fiji when he raced 40m to score in the corner, but Setefano Cakau scored two quick tries to hand Fiji a 14-5 lead. Stephan Dippenaar crossed over for his first try in Las Vegas to reduce the margin to 14-10 at halftime.
After the break, Cecil Afrika, the IRB Player of the Year, finished a sharp move for his seventh try of the tournament. However, Levani Botia shattered the Blitzbokke’s hopes when he raced through for the third Fijian try.
Earlier in the day, the Blitzbokke lost their semi-final clash 20-7 against New Zealand.
South Africa, who finished the pool stages unbeaten and eliminated Argentina 24-5 in the quarterfinals, made too many errors against their traditional rivals.
Kyle Brown crucially lost the ball in the offload just meters from the Kiwi try line, and New Zealand used the turn over to send Bryce Heem over for their first of three tries in the first half. Tomasi Cama scored in the corner despite the desperate efforts by Afrika while Mark James crossed for the Kiwis’ third try before the break.
DJ Forbes crashed over the in the corner to extend the New Zealand lead to 20-0, but Branco du Preez burst over with seconds left on the clock to score a consolation effort for the South Africans.
The final results on match day three in Las Vegas:
France 22, Scotland 7
Canada 19, Australia 17
Kenya 21, Argentina 7
Third Place Playoff
Fiji 21, South Africa 15
Samoa 26, New Zealand 19.
The next two tournaments take place in Hong Kong on 23-25 March and Japan from 31 March to 1 April.