South Africa’s sevens team won for the second week in succession, this time beating New Zealand 26-17 in a thrilling final, to successfully defend the Port Elizabeth Sevens title and take the lead in the overall HSBC Sevens World Series.
After three rounds it’s the Blitzboks that have stormed into the lead after another high tempo, calculated series that saw them coming up trumbps against the old foe in the Cup final.
Fiji, who were leading the table before Port Elizabeth, finished sixth, so have been overtaken by South Africa as all sides race to be in the top four places so that they quality directly for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Philip Snyman, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith all scored in the final and continued their impressive form on home soil, with the win meaning the Blitzboks now have 59 points.
Coach Neil Powell was pleased with his side’s ability to stay calm under pressure and to play to their strengths. “We had to dig deep. We had three very worthy opponents today and each asked very different questions. We had to come from behind in each match today, but this team has shown they have the determination and belief to succeed.”
Australia, who were runners up in Dubai, beat Argentina 34-19 to take third place overall.
The USA were very impressive as they used their speed out wide and new found structure under coach Mike Friday to win the Plate Final, beating Fiji 21-14, while Portugal won the Shield by upsetting Samoa 19-14, and Canada beat Kenya 24-7 for the Bowl.
The top 5 standings after three rounds are:
1. South Africa 59 | 2. Fiji 51 | 3. New Zealand 47 | 4. Australia 46 | 5. Argentina 40