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Monday, February 11, 2013

South Africa thump New Zealand in Cup final to win 2013 USA Sevens

South Africa thrashed the New Zealand Sevens team at the Vegas leg of the USA Sevens at Sam Boyd Stadium on Sunday. Following some of the most exciting playoff games we've seen in Sevens history, the 40-21 blowout final took everyone by surprise.

An experienced Kiwi side were no match for the speed and precision that the South African's played with early on in the final, with the score at an incredible 35-0 at one stage.

The men in black came back late in the game through some powerful play by Ben Lam in particular, but it was effectively over already and South Africa celebrated their first title of the year, cementing their second placing on the overall world series standings. 

"It was just a tremendous fight from the boys. We said after what happened last week, that we never going to forget that," said an emotional Paul Delport post match.

"We set such a high standards for ourselves, we need to come out and perform like that every time. This is huge for us. We put in so much effort back home - there are just no words to describe this winning feeling," Delport added.

Despite the loss, New Zealand increased their overall lead on the points table, claiming 23 points to site on top at 96, while South Africa trail on 73, followed by Samoa on 71.

Samoa won an exciting third place playoff game againt Fiji 36-31, while Canada claimed the Plate, France won the Bowl, and Australia won the Shield.

There are four rounds still to go, starting with Hong Kong from 22-24 March.

Below are highlights of the final day's play as well as Day Two (the second video in the playlist).

Posted at 8:22 am | 7 comments

Highlights from day one of the 2013 USA Sevens

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Huge hit on Samoa's Uale Mai at the Las Vegas Sevens

Midweek Madness - Vegas marriage proposal after win

Best Tries from the 2007 USA Sevens

Nese Malifa makes big tackle at the George Sevens

Posted in Sevens

Viewing 7 comments

Alberto February 11, 2013 2:49 pm

Sorry guys I've got a question...In general, why a 7's tournament winner change so often from one tournament to another?
Thanks,
Alberto

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tim February 11, 2013 7:02 pm

You should add the skydiver that dove in during the Fiji/Somoa 3rd place game in overtime. It was hilarious!!

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Beafheart February 11, 2013 9:43 pm

In sevens, the difference between the different sides is (IMO) much smaller that in 15s. There are a number of reasons for this, including:

1) Sevens games can be changed on such small margins. All it needs is one lucky break, a missed tackle or a funny bounce and a I (supposedly weaker) side can get a victory.
2) In 15s the stronger side has a full 80 minutes during which they are able to break down the opposition and make their greater abilities show.
3) Because squads are smaller, nations that aren't top tier only need to develop a handful of very good players to compete
4) The weaker teams get to compete against the top sides week-in, week-out. In 15s, this effectively only happens once every 4 years.
5) Becoming an Olympic sport is giving sevens greater funding outside the rugby powerhouses who dominate in 15s.

There are probably a load of other reasons as well that will be pointed out, but in my mind these 5 alone are enough to somewhat explain the unpredictability of results

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Fernando February 12, 2013 4:41 pm

Where are the day 2 highlights?

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katman February 12, 2013 6:42 pm

It's the second vid in the playlist. Either click "playlist" at the bottom of the Youtube video box and select the second vid, or use the forward (arrow) next to the volume button to move to the next vid.

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asdfero February 12, 2013 5:44 pm

So happy that there's such a crowd in USA!

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BoliMiKura February 12, 2013 10:26 pm

Further to Beafheart's suggestions

6) Sevens is a less physical game and relies on pace, skill and organisation. A lot of nations dont have a pool of 22 stone giants who can dominate a game of 15s and ensure that, even if the back division is weak, they can grind out a victory through sheer muscle. However, most countries can put 7 quick guys on the field and train them in defense, organisation and (most importantly) fitness.... look at Kenya...

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