Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The final leg of the IRB World Series Sevens took place in Edinburgh this past weekend, with New Zealand being crowned champions, and South Africa pulling off an incredible last few seconds win over Australia in the final. Here's a wrap-up of all the action.
New Zealand took the overall World Series champions title, but failed to produce for the second week in a row. They had already clinched the title last weekend, so despite perhaps wishing to have gone out on a high, they were victorious nonetheless.
Scotland, who were hosting the event, seem to have found their straps and managed to cause quite the upset, beating Fiji 14-12 on day one, as well as thrashing the USA. They lost out narrowly in the Bowl final though, with Kenya scoring late in the game.
Canada beat Russia 17-12 to take the Shield, but ultimately it was all about the Cup final, where South Africa and Australia served up one of the best, and highest scoring, finals of Sevens rugby ever seen.
Having won in London last weekend, South Africa had to launch two comebacks in their final against Australia, firstly from being down 7-28 early in the second half, then from trailing 19-35 with just two minutes on the clock. They scored last gasp tries through Steven Hunt, and then the winning try with time up was scored by flyer Sibusiso Sithole, who was so excited, he almost dived out in the process of scoring. The game ended at 36-35 to South Africa.
"Australia made a good start and we had to give it everything we got," said coach Paul Treu. "We were severely disrupted by the injuries and apart from the injured players, Frankie also shouldered on bravely despite hurting his knee early on Saturday.
"What can you say after a performance like that? They refused to give in and South Africa can be very proud of these young men," he added.
South Africa leapfrogged England, who sat on 127 points, to take second place in the overall standings on 140 points, while New Zealand were out of reach at 166 points. Fiji and Samoa came in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Below are three videos in a playlist. The first shows some of the big games, and then includes the final. The second video shows top points (385) and top try (40) scorer Cecil Afrika, and the third shows Seven of the Best tries from the weekend. Enjoy.