U.S. ends tournament in Tokyo, falling short in rematch against South Africa

Posted at 4:25 AM, Jul 28, 2021

5th place match


Less than two days after having faced each other in pool play, the two teams found themselves kicking off again. This time, 5th place in the tournament was on the line. South Africa proved too much for the Americans, winning 28-7.

South Africa was relentless from the start applying pressure and pinning the Americans back behind their 22 for most of the first half. The Americans tried to escape, but a dropped pass caused a costly turnover led to a walk-in try by Justin Geduld

The Americans immediately responded on the ensuing kickoff. Steve Tomasin received a well-timed dump pass from wing Carlin Isles and hustled down the field to even the score back at 7 with two minutes to go in the half. 

After a series of penalties, including a high tackle, South Africa quick tapped and found the Americans backpedaling.  Sakoyisa Makata was able to score untouched giving South Africa the 14-7 advantage at the half. 

In the second half, frustration by both teams was evident, with penalties and dropped balls continuing for both sides. With just under two minutes remaining, South African substitute Branco Du Preez faked a pass but saw an opportunity in the middle and kept the ball for himself sealing the win for South Africa. Stedman Gans tacked on a final try as time expired for the 28-7 win.