The Kiwis secured their quarterfinals spot at the Cape Town Sevens this morning (NZT) after a stunning come-from-behind 26-21 victory over South Africa.

The win saved New Zealand from their first-ever exit in the pool stages of a World Series men's sevens' tournament in the series' 20-year history just one week after claiming the Dubai Sevens title.

A try from South Africa's Rosko Specman just before halftime set the tone for the home side before the Kiwis suddenly hit back with two tries to Andrew Knewstubb and captain Sione Molia to clinch a 14-7 halftime lead.

Former World Sevens Player of the Year Werner Kok quickly tied the game back up at 14 all before Branco du Preez launched South Africa into a promising lead.

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Things looked over for the New Zealand side as the game drew to a close, however, two late tries to Molia and Vilimoni Koroi saw the Kiwis snatch the heart-stopping win to progress through to the next stage.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand opened their campaign with a comfortable 35-0 win over Zimbabwe before things went downhill with a disappointing 21-17 loss to Samoa. It was the first time Samoa have beaten New Zealand under Sir Gordon Tietjens, former All Blacks Sevens boss.

The Kiwis finished second in their pool and will play Australia in the quarterfinals at 11:48pm (NZT).