FAN IN FANCY DRESS

Sunday Times - - Front Page - Pic­ture: Esa Alexan­der

Jor­dan-Lee Maans, 9, of Delft, bought into the spirit of sev­ens rugby in Cape Town yes­ter­day. Part of the tra­di­tion at the an­nual tour­na­ment is dress­ing up — and Jor­dan-Lee showed his true colours at Cape Town Sta­dium.

● The Bl­itzboks moved into the Cup quar­ter­fi­nals at the Cape Town Sev­ens de­spite los­ing to New Zealand in the fi­nal match on day one of the tour­na­ment.

New Zealand scored a try af­ter the fi­nal hooter of the day against SA to win 26-21. But SA still topped the pool to set up a last-eight clash against Scot­land to­day.

New Zealand fin­ished as run­ners-up and will play Pool D win­ners Aus­tralia in the last eight while Samoa, who also earned seven pool points, were elim­i­nated.

The Bl­itzboks looked in im­pe­ri­ous form ear­lier in the day but de­spite con­trol­ling most of the match, the Kiwis scored from turnovers and from deep to sow seeds of doubt for the home team go­ing into the knock­out stage.

New Zealand scored two tries from deep in the first half to rock the Bl­itzboks af­ter they made the near-per­fect start against their ma­jor ri­vals.

An­drew Knew­stubb and Sione Mo­lia broke free from in­side their own half, to over­turn a 0-7 deficit af­ter the Bl­itzboks made a strong start to the match.

The home team con­trolled ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion through­out the con­test but only had a lone Rosko Spec­man try to show for their dom­i­nance early on and went into the break 14-7 down.

The nippy flyer ghosted through a gap close to the NZ line af­ter some slick build-up play by the Bl­itzboks, to give the home team the ideal start to a match where sev­eral per­mu­ta­tions were pos­si­ble be­fore kick-off.

Samoa, who had beaten NZ ear­lier in the day, needed a Bl­itzboks win to ad­vance to the cup quar­ter­fi­nals at NZ’s ex­pense.

SA, bar­ring a mas­sive de­feat, were through to the last eight any­way, but even so, win­ning the pool was not guar­an­teed.

Af­ter the break, tries from Werner Kok and Branco du Preez gave SA the lead but NZ did what they al­ways do, and ral­lied to win with two late tries.

Ear­lier in the day, SA beat Zim­babwe 43-0 and also saw off the dan­ger­ous Samoans 2212 in a phys­i­cal en­counter.

De­spite con­ced­ing the first try against Samoa when big David Afamasaga scored to si­lence the nearly 50,000 crowd, the Bl­itzboks re­mained calm.

Their smoth­er­ing de­fence, which was be­low par in Dubai last week, was back to its best and from break­down penal­ties the Bl­itzboks scored two first-half tries through vet­er­ans Kyle Brown and Philip Sny­man to lead 10-7 at the break.

From an­other penalty early in the sec­ond half, the Bl­itzboks set up a li­ne­out on the 22me­tre line and pro­duced a beau­ti­fully con­structed try, straight from the train­ing ground. Justin Geduld fin­ished the move.

A fur­ther try from re­place­ment Impi Visser en­sured the win al­though Samoa had the fi­nal say with a try on full-time scored by John Vaili.

In other out­comes, the US will face Eng­land in the quar­ter­fi­nals while Fiji will take on sur­prise qual­i­fiers Spain.

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