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Monday, January 27, 2014

South Africa retain USA Sevens title with tense victory over New Zealand

The South African Sevens team beat New Zealand 14-7 in a tense Cup Final at the Las Vegas Sevens on Sunday. It's the second year in succession that they've won in Vegas, taking them top of the overall world series standings, one point ahead of New Zealand.

South Africa beat Samoa to reach the final while New Zealand came through against Canada, who got an early lead but weren't able to capitalise. The Canadians came third overall though, beating Samoa in a thrilling third place playoff that saw them come back from 12-0 down to win 22-19.

The USA won the Shield, Fiji won the Bowl and England won the Plate on another enjoyable weekend of Sevens rugby in the entertainment capital of the world. South Africa's win over the bigger All Blacks Sevens team is their fifth in succession, a record that started back in 2012.

"Unbelievable feeling, but well deserved for the players. They work hard back home and it is all credit to their them. The guts, the commitment it is unbelievable," said coach Neil Powell.

"We really work hard on our defensive structures, and even the smaller guys like Cecil and Branco throw themselves into the tackles and punch well above their body weight."

The series now heads to Wellington, for which the pool draw was made last night.

South Africa will be in Pool A with England, Wales and Portugal, while New Zealand take up Pool B with Fiji, France and Spain. Pool C is made up of Canada, Argentina, Scotland and USA, while a tough Pool D has Samoa, Australia, Kenya and Tonga.

View Day Two Highlights | View Day One Highlights

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