The Springbok Sevens started their defence of the HSBC LA Sevens on a disappointing note when they were outplayed 21-7 by the USA in their opening pool B clash at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles on Saturday, before they bounced back with a 22-17 win over Canada. A 17-14 defeat to New Zealand demoted the defending LA and World Series title holders to also-rans in 2022.

South Africa, who had to beat New Zealand by 12 points to get into the Cup quarters, did not start well in that match either. They conceded three tries in the first half to trail 17-0 before they finally showed some grit and grunt, scoring through James Murphy and Shilton van Wyk, but the two converted tries were not enough to overhaul their opponents in black.