The South Africans will now face Australia in the quarter-finals of the Emirates Dubai 7s on Saturday at the Sevens Stadium, where a win will see them face the winner of the knock-out between Argentina and Ireland for a spot in the semi-finals.

The top-ranked Blitzboks kicked off the tournament with a well-deserved 28-7 victory over Ireland and followed that up with a 52-12 drubbing of Japan in their second Pool C fixture.

The South Africans then proceeded to defeat Great Britain 31-12 with a strong second-half showing in their last group match of the day to clinch top spot in their pool.

Both Siviwe Soyizwapi and Selvyn Davids scored four tries each on the day, while Ronald Brown had a good day with the boot, slotting 12 conversions.

However, they did suffer yet another setback when Muller du Plessis was forced to leave the field due to a leg injury in their final pool match. The Blitzboks are already without a number of injured regulars.

Siviwe Soyizwapi scored two tries against Japan in the second pool game.

Siviwe Soyizwapi scored two tries against Japan in the second pool game.

While he was satisfied with the winning results, Powell mentioned afterwards his charges can still improve on their cohesion.

“The individuals played well but we haven’t played well as a team yet,” said Powell.

“One of the things I want us to step up tomorrow is to play well as a team, on defence and attack. Also, conceding five tries on the opening day is something that we will have to look at closely.”

In the absence of a number of regulars, Powell gave newcomers Shilton van Wyk and Tiaan Pretorius their first of World Series action.

“It was nice to give them a taste of what it’s like to play at this level,” said Powell.

“The standard (of play here today) was better than the opposition we faced in Canada, so it was a good test for them. So, some areas to improve on, but we laid a good foundation for day two.”

Quarter-final draw for Saturday (SA times):
08h28: Argentina vs Ireland
08h50: Springbok Sevens vs Australia
09h12: USA vs Great Britain
09h34: Fiji vs Kenya