Vancouver 7s: BlitzBoks pile on the speckmagic
Vancouver 7s: BlitzBoks pile on the speckmagicSHARE
Speckman scored with two minutes on the clock remaining, as the BlitzBoks twice came from behind in the Cup semifinal to beat the United States 14-10.
They are set for a classic Cup Final against England, who smashed Fiji 40-7 in the other semifinal.
England is the only team have beaten them – twice – and the two sides played to a 12-all draw in the final pool match on Saturday.
"The game is won on such small margins," England coach Simon Amor said of the showdown with the BlitzBoks.
"We had real good fight and heart last weekend, and we have done this weekend too.
"We've put in a really good performance there against Fiji and I am incredibly proud of the boys, top effort.
"South Africa are a tremendous team, it'll be a tough game, but we have a good group and we'll give it our best."
New Zealand will play Argentina in the fifth-place play-off.
Wales defeated Chile to set up Challenge Trophy Final with Samoa.
There was a first win of the weekend for Japan and they sealed it with a shut-out against Russia. They'll meet Scotland in the 13th place play-off.
We look at all the semifinal action!
South Africa have been sensational in defence this weekend – they have an 87 percent tackle completion rate.
There are errors aplenty in this semifinal having said that, and the Americans made a lightning-quick break and go 60 metres from right to left after a stunning defensive play from Perry Baker. Martin Iosefo was on hand to dive the final metre over the line.
BlitzBok skipper Philip Snyman went over for South Africa after disciplined play by Dylan Sage on the wing, and Cecil Afrika nailed his conversion to give Neil Powell's side a narrow lead at half-time.
One thing you can almost guarantee is a moment of magic from Rosco Speckman and he did not disappoint. Speckman went through the gears to raced away from Durutalo with a nice stutter-step and it was a four-point lead for for the BlitzBoks.
The Yanks had one last shot with the clock on zero. I was last-gasp defence from the BlitzBoks and Andrew Durutalo went over the line, but he could not get it down.
What a try-saver from Werner Kok and an incredible defensive display from South Africa to deny America at the death and seal a sixth straight Cup Final.
England posted the first blow in this knockout clash.
What makes Dan Norton so special is his ability to turn defence into attack in a flash, and that's exactly what he did to move within two scores of Collins Injera's all-time Sevens Series try-scoring record.
England were up by three converted tries at the break.
A blood-soaked Phil Burgess is just one shy of his half-century now. After lots of hard-work in the midfield, Norton drew out three defenders and the big man Burgess scored. Norton added a third with the clock at zero.
Dan Bibby has been on fire this weekend. The Rio 2016 dream team man reacted quickest with the ball bouncing between hands and stormed to the line to give England a 26-point lead. Then, replacement Ethan Waddleton won a turnover and captain fantastic Tom Mitchell ran onto the end of a chip, before Will Edwards landed his first-ever Sevens Series try.
This is the most points that Simon Amor's men have ever scored against Fiji.
South Africa 14-10 United States
England 40-7 Fiji
Nathan Hirayama made a burst for the line, but was dragged down. However, with Argentina playing with just six men, Canada clinically put it through the hands and Justin Douglas got the reward and touched down for the hosts.
The players' lungs were burning because the clock was on zero at the end of the first period for more than three and a half minutes. There was a nervous tension inside this pulsating stadium with only five points in it at the halfway point.
Fantastic footwork from Franco Sabato who got a kind bounce after a deft, delicate chip forward and he just about scrambled over to get Los Pumas level.
Canada were stretched and short on numbers with Pat Kay injured and Argentina kept the ball alive, with Nicolas Menéndez collecting the offload from Matias Osadczuk to score his first of the weekend.
The Los Pumas Sevens have put away the hosts but well done to Canada too on a brave performance.
The second match was being played at a frantic pace.
New Zealand were doing their best to keep the tempo high when Isaac Te Tamaki set up a great score for captain Scott Curry, who now has 15 for the series and is rewarded for a magic running line. That converted try is the difference at the break.
Beautiful set-play from New Zealand and one of the newbies on the scene for the All Blacks Sevens got on the scoreboard. Sione Molia monstered through two defenders and Andrew Knewstubb, who made his debut in Sydney, offered a perfect support line.
New Zealand will meet Argentina in the fight for fifth.
Canada 5-12 Argentina
New Zealand 21-0Australia
Challenge trophy semifinals
Classic following up on the inside by Alex Samoa after a perfect line-out and offload from Tila Mealoi as the Samoans struck first. They have weathered all the early pressure and Gordon Tietjens's side got the first five-pointer, before Joe Perez put on the afterburners and raced to the line with a neat little sidestep.
Genius work by Joe Perez, who has been sublime for the Pacific Islanders in this contest. Kenya got themselves on the scoreboard courtesy of Samuel Oliech, but Perez brilliantly fooled the Shujaa Sevens backs into thinking he is searching for a pass, before twisting superbly and surging to the line. Savelio Ropati's fourth career try wrapped up a superb Samoan win.
There was some tidy stuff from Chile, who looked like they had confidence surging through their veins. Julio Blanc struck first for the men in red and they are looking like an experienced, composed outfit.
Lloyd Evans brought Wales level right underneath the sticks after a strong run from Ben Roach drew three defenders to the flank. The conversion from Ethan Davies was good and the Welsh lead for the first time in the match.
A solid second-half display meant Wales will meet Samoa in the Challenge Trophy Final.
"After we lost to Fiji in our first match, we said we had to win the next two games," Wales captain Sam Cross said.
"We thought we had done enough, but we had to come back today after missing out after Argentina's win over Fiji. The only way we can prove we are good enough to be in the Cup now is to win the Challenge Trophy, and that will also give us momentum going into Hong Kong."
Kenya 7-26 Samoa
Chile 5-14 Wales
A handling error from Scotland as Dougie Fife took his eye off the ball and Jean Pascal Barraque was the one who reacted first to go 90 metres and put Las Bleus in front. Scotland hit back, however, when James Fleming brought up his century of tries after skipping through the challenges and exploding to the line. He's only the second Scotsman to join the 100 club.
France were trailing by seven after a try from Ally Miller.
But that first try after the break went to the French – if Jean Pascal Barraque's first score was the result of a mistake, then the second was just about pure class. It was a nifty move from France with good timing on the passing, nice movement and a burst of pace.
With Alexandre Lagarde in the sin-bin, there was some brilliant movement from Joe Nayacavou who stepped inside off the left and carved through the France defence as the pendulum swung Scotland's way again. Les Bleus hit back with another beauty, though. There was some nice interchanges before Kelegh Moutome gave it to Julien Candelon to do the business. It was all square with the clock at zero!
However, Les Bleus conceded at the death after giving away a penalty for not rolling away. Scott Wight took the quick tap and Joe Nayacavou, so handy off the bench, gifted it to Hugh Blake to win it for the Scots.
A tight opening first seven minutes with both Russia and Japan struggling to find an opening, but Dallas Tatana landed one for the Japanese which sounded the hooter to end the first half. A good passage of play from Kameli Soejima following the restart, who won the ball back, bounced off the tackles and did the business for a second Japan try. Dai Ozawa scored a third with the 10th try of his career.
Scotland 28-21 France
Russia 0-21 Japan