Victories over Fiji and Brazil resulted in a second-place finish in their pool and the Blazeboks will now face USA for a semi-final spot.

It is the best finish in five tournaments for coach Renfred Dazel and his squad and co-captain Zintle Mpupha was full of praise for the team.

"We are very happy, obviously, this is such a great feeling and knowing that we finally achieved this goal is very satisfying," said Mpupha.

"I am proud of the massive effort today, especially after the big defeat against New Zealand last night. We knew we are close to Fiji and Brazil and today showed that we can match and beat them by using our opportunities. The pressure out there was intense, but we came through."

Against Fiji, a brilliant second half confirmed the win in a very tight game. The women from the Pacific islands led at the break, but the second half belonged to the team in green and gold.

Fiji scored first, a long-range effort after a slipped tackle in their half and the successful conversion gave them a 7-0 lead. Ayanda Malinga then scored a gem just before the break to justify her team's efforts on attack.

The second half was tight, with a controlled effort by the SA side not giving Fiji an opportunity to cut loose in their free-flowing style. Mpupha scored and when Nadine Roos converted, the pressure was on the opponents.

Liske Lategan, who flew in as replacement earlier in the week, made her trip worth the while when she scored only her third career try, which Roos converted to seal the deal with a 19-7 win.

Against Brazil it was third time lucky for the South Africans after close defeats in Perth and Vancouver.

The match also was tight, and the South Americans scored first in a break-out try, but the Blazeboks' belief was real. With the return of Eloise Webb at flyhalf, Roos moved to centre and her options gave Malinga more ball and space.

Roos scored just before the break as her team started to dominate, but the winning points only came in the 16th minute of play. Trailing 7-5, the South Africans kept attacking, looking for the winning score and twice declined the option to kick a winning penalty as Brazil overstepped under pressure. A cross-kick from Mpupha to Malinga proved crucial and the wing could slide over in the corner for a famous win.

The semi-final against USA kicks off at 20h58 and will be live on SuperSport.


South Africa 19 (5), Fiji 7 (7)
SA - Tries: Ayanda Malinga, Zintle Mpupha, Liske Lategan. Conversions: Nadine Roos (2).
Fiji - Try: Heleina Young. Conversion: Ana Maria Naimasi.

South Africa 10 (5), Brazil 7 (7)
SA - Tries: Nadine Roos, Ayanda Malinga.
Brazil - Try: Bianca Silva. Conversion: Raquel Kochhann.