South Africa is approaching the sequence title at Edmonton Sevens

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – South Africa joined the Rugby Sevens World Series title by going unbeaten through the group stage and reaching the quarter-finals of the Edmonton tournament on Saturday.

South Africa only needs to reach the final in Edmonton to be crowned series champion in a shortened series in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic after its tournament victory in the stage in Vancouver, British Columbia last week.

The twins are missing many of the top-ranked teams due to COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions, including Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalists, Fiji, New Zealand silver medalists, and Australia and Samoa.

South Africa picked up where they left off last week by beating Mexico 56-0 and Hong Kong 43-5 in their first two pool games on Saturday. The ‘Blitzboks’ followed with a 49-0 win over Olympic third place Canada in the last game of the day and on Sunday made a quarter-finals with Hong Kong, who had qualified as one of the two best third-placed finishers.

The US ended their pool games again undefeated with a 29-17 win over Spain, followed by a comfortable 33-5 win over Chile, with Malacchi Esdale making two attempts. In their final game of the day, the US beat Kenya 19:14 to retaliate after losing to Africans in the quarter-finals in Vancouver last week.

The USA will play against Great Britain in the quarter-finals, Kenya against Germany.

Ireland again led their group against Germany and Jamaica before a 12:12 draw with Great Britain to set up a meeting with the hosts in the quarter-finals.

Despite a shocking 19:10 defeat against Germany, Great Britain reached the knockout round as the best third-placed.

In the women’s Fast Four, Britain ended the group stage unbeaten with two wins and one draw and will face Mexico in the semi-finals on Sunday as they strive for consecutive tournament titles after winning in Vancouver last week. In the other semifinals, hosts Canada will meet the USA.


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