An ill-disciplined Springbok Sevens side suffered a disappointing loss to Ireland in their opening Pool D encounter at the France Sevens in Toulouse on Friday.
MATCH CENTRE | France Sevens
The Irish won 21-12 to record their first-ever win over the Blitzboks in World Rugby Sevens Series history.
The Blitzboks dominated the early exchanges and scored a try through Mfundo Ndhlovu. Ronald Brown converted to give SA a 7-0 advantage.
The South Africans, though, continued to concede silly penalties, and a big turning point came just before half-time when Zain Davids received a yellow card for a cynical tap-down. Ireland cashed in on their numerical advantage as the impressive Terry Kennedy rounded off to level matters (7-7).
Ireland took the lead shortly after the break when speedster Jack Kelly sprinted through for a long-range try.
Billy Dardis' conversion gave Ireland a 14-7 lead with five minutes remaining.
The Blitzboks hit back immediately through a fine try by skipper Siviwe Soyizwapi, but Brown failed to convert as Ireland led 14-12 with four minutes remaining.
Ill-discipline continued to plague the Blitzboks as they conceded more penalties to hand Ireland the initiative. Kennedy raced in for his second try a couple of minutes later, before Dardis' conversion made the score 21-12 with less then two minutes remaining.
The Blitzboks tried to resurrect matters but ran out of time as Ireland recorded a famous victory.
In their second Pool D match, South Africa will face Spain later on Friday (18:28). On Saturday, they will tackle Samoa in their final pool match (12:22).
SA 12 (7)
Tries: Mfundo Ndhlovu, Siviwe Soyizwapi
Conversion: Ronald Brown
Ireland 21 (7)
Tries: Terry Kennedy (2), Jack Kelly
Conversions: Billy Dardis (3)