South Africa won Gold at the Commonwealth Games Sevens for the first time, upsetting previously unbeatable New Zealand 17-12 in Glasgow on Sunday night. The record breaking weekend is being viewed as the perfect leadup to the Olympics.
The All Blacks Sevens team had gone 30 matches unbeaten in the Games, dating back to 1998, when they first won Gold in Kuala Lumpur, the year the sport made it’s debut on that stage.
The South African side had been impressive all weekend though, and when it came to the final their speed and guile shone through, despite losing key man and captain Kyle Brown early on to injury. They soldiered on with the likes of youngster Kwagga Smith throwing his heart into everything, with stars Seabelo Senatla and Cecil Afrika scoring vital tries for the men in green and gold.
Australia won Bronze with a 24-0 third place playoff victory over Samoa, as southern hemisphere sides dominated on a weekend where a record breaking crowd of over 170 000 packed Ibrox.
“Glasgow 2014 has been the ideal stage to showcase our sport and the perfect springboard to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset ahead of the 2016 Olympics.
Inspirational back Afrika, one of the smallest Boks but often the most courageous, said that beating New Zealand to win was an unbelievable feeling, and he knew the fans back home would be proud.
“This feeling is the greatest. We as South Africans are so proud. Rugby is our national sport, we always strive to be the best in the world.
“The Commonwealth Games is a one-off tournament. As a squad we want to take this forward to the Rio Olympics. I know we have made the people back home proud.”
1998, Kuala Lumpur – New Zealand | 2002, Manchester – New Zealand | 2006, Melbourne – New Zealand | 2010, Delhi – New Zealand | 2014, Glasgow – South Africa
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