The match against China kicks off at 09h54 at the Markötter Stadium in Stellenbosch, with Poland and Belgium contesting the other semi-final at 10h16.

The South Africans beat Thailand – who finished third in their pool – by 29-12 on Friday, with Ayanda Malinga's first-half hat-trick setting the tone.

The Springbok Women led by 17-0 at the break but the Thai team fought back early in the second half with a brace of tries by Nantadchaporn Yodya reducing the Boks’ lead to 17-12.

However, Renfred Dazel's team found an extra gear at the end, with Zintle Mpupha and Marlize de Bruin scoring late tries to seal the victory.

Earlier on Friday, in their final pool game, South Africa came back from 5-0 down to beat Madagascar by 14-5, with all the points scored in the first half. De Bruin and Mpupha scored tries for the South Africans, with Eloise Webb and Nadine Roos adding the extras.

On Thursday, the Springbok Women drew with Czechia (7-7) before they beat Mexico (36-0).

Marlize de Bruin stops an attack from Madagascar in the final pool game.

Marlize de Bruin stops an attack from Madagascar in the final pool game.

Mpupha, who shares the captaincy with Mathrin Simmers, said the work is not done for the team.

“It will be a big day tomorrow,” she said.

“We still have work to do and have not played the perfect game yet. Some homework tonight on our mistakes today will make us stronger tomorrow.”

Mpupha said the upward curve shown by the squad in their performances bodes well for their quest at the tournament.

“We said we wanted to finish on top, so we are still on track with that,” she said. “The first day was difficult with the weather conditions not ideal and today we could play a bit more.

“We wanted to attack and keep the ball alive this and we could do that today, so that was a pleasing aspect.”

Mpupha was instrumental in her team’s performances on Friday, putting in numerous big hits on defence and creating some nice tries with strong runs in the midfield: “Yes, it was pleasing for me, it went well, but ultimately it is what the team achieves. So, in that regard it was a good day all round. We will look to continue with that tomorrow.”

The other women's quarter-finals results were: China 32, Colombia 0; Belgium 26, Czechia 17; Poland 19 Madagascar 5.