- Women’s semi-final line-up: Belgium v China, Czechia v South Africa
- Men’s semi-finals: Germany v Tonga, Belgium v Chile
- Finals day on Sunday sees the women’s semi-finals start at 09:54 local time (GMT+2) and the men’s semi-finals at 10:38, with the women’s and men’s finals at 13:33 and 14:01 respectively
- Winner of two-round women’s competition based on aggregate points to secure Sevens World Series entry
- Men’s competition winner based on aggregate points following second event to enter a four-team play-off at the HSBC London Sevens in May with the winner achieving the coveted Sevens World Series 2024 status
The women’s and men’s semi-finals have been confirmed after another scintillating day of competition at Markötter Stadium as the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023 comes to a close on Sunday in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Belgium overpowered Hong Kong China 40-5 in the opening women’s quarter-final to set up a clash with China, who blanked Paraguay 39-0, in Sunday’s first semi-final.
Czechia women provided the upset of the day by defeating Poland 17-5 for the first time ever, booking their spot in the final four and setting up a thrilling semi-final match against hosts South Africa, who easily handled Colombia 31-0, on Sunday.
In the men’s competition, Germany defeated Italy 21-12 in the first quarter-final showdown and will meet opening tournament champions Tonga in Sunday's semi-finals after the Pacific Island nation won their quarter-final 33-12 against Hong Kong China.
Belgium has moved on to the final four with a narrow 12-7 victory over Uganda, and will face Chile, who cruised through the pool stages with a perfect win record and defeated Papua New Guinea 29-17 in the last quarter-final of the day.
WOMEN’S DAY TWO RECAP:
In the opening match of day two, Hong Kong China needed a win over Mexico to advance to the last eight. Tries from Natasha Olson-Thorne and Sabay Lynam helped them get over the line, beating Mexico 19-7.
With only South Africa qualifying for the quarter-final on day one, a guaranteed spot was still open for a team in Pool D. On Saturday Madagascar defeated Paraguay 12-7, but it was Paraguay that went through thanks to their win against Thailand on Friday. Madagascar and Thailand also finished with five competition points at the conclusion of the pool stage, but it was their superior point difference that sent the South Americans through to the final eight.
In a top of the table clash in Pool F, China continued to dominate their opposition in the competition, beating Poland 24-7 to win all three of their group stage matches. The Chinese were pitted against Paraguay in the quarter-final and delivered another outstanding performance to advance to the semi-final, thanks to a hat-trick from Chen Can.
Belgium’s number 10, Cecile Blondiau continued to shine for the Europeans as she scored two of their three tries to defeat Czechia 19-5 in their final group stage match. Blondiau scored another brace in the quarter-final against Hong Kong China, where there Europeans went over the whitewash six times, beating the team from Asia 40-5 to book a spot in the semi-final where they will face China.
Czechia made history by advancing to the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series final-four for the very first time when they stunned Poland, whom they had never beaten. They emerged victorious 17-5 and will take on opening tournament champions South Africa on Sunday for a chance to continue their fairytale tournament and play in the final.
Nadine Roos was the star of the day for South Africa, scoring an impressive five tries to down Thailand 38-0 in their last group match. The hosts and Series points leaders were exceptional in their quarter-final encounter against Colombia, winning by 31-points and again conceding no points.
The first women’s semi-final between Belgium and China will be played at 09:54 local time, followed by Czechia and South Africa at 10:16 in semi-final two to decide who will play for gold at 13:33.
The ultimate prize at stake for the tournament winners in the women’s competition, which will be decided on aggregate points over the two events, is promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2024 as the 12th and final team.
MEN’S DAY TWO RECAP:
Papua New Guinea’s win over Zimbabwe at the start of day two in the men’s competition placed them as the second best third placed finishers and qualified the island nation for the last eight of the tournament.
Hong Kong China kicked off their day with a comfortable 17-0 win over Belgium to top Pool C. Belgium shook off their earlier defeat against the Asian side when they took on Uganda in their last eight encounter, narrowly defeating the East Africans 12-7.
Chile made it three wins from three when they beat Jamaica 34-7. The South Americans then took on Papua New Guinea in a highly-contested quarter-final match, and came out 29-17 victors, courtesy of a spirited team effort.
Tries from Jack Hunt and Philip Gleitze helped Germany beat Uganda 12-0 in their Group B match. In an all-European quarterfinal, the Germans edged Italy 21-12 to qualify for the semi-final for the second weekend in a row.
Tonga sealed their spot in the quarter-final in a high-scoring fixture against Italy. 49-12 was the final score, with the Tongans scoring six tries and Italy going over the try line three times. Tonga, champions from tournament one, made no mistake in qualifying for another final-four clash. They led Hong Kong China 19-0 at halftime, and although the Asian team managed to score in the second half, it was not enough as Tonga won 33-12.
Germany will take on defending champions Tonga at 10:38 local time, while the second semi-final between Belgium and Chile will be played at 11:00.
The final of the women is scheduled to kick off at 13:33, with the men set to play at 14:01 local time.
The winner of the men’s competition, which will also be decided on aggregate points over the two events, will enter a four-team play-off at the HSBC London Sevens in May together with the teams placed 12th to 14th after 10 rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023. The winner of the play-off will achieve the coveted Sevens World Series 2024 status.
HOW TO WATCH >>
Fans around the world can watch the matches through the links below, while while rights-free images are available via the World Rugby Media Zone.