Blitzbokke fight back to stun NZ

2013-03-31 10:03
Branco du Preez (Gallo Images)
Tokyo - The Springbok Sevens side rallied with three tries in the second half on Sunday to defeat New Zealand 24-19 and win the Tokyo Sevens rugby title.

New Zealand held a 12-0 lead at the break but the South Africans erased the deficit early in the second half with tries by Seabelo Senatla and Cecil Afrika that were converted by Branco du Preez.

A penalty by Du Preez and a try by Cornal Hendricks completed the scoring for the Blitzbokke.

VIDEO: Tokyo final, SA v NZ, highlights

Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson and Ben Lam scored tries for series leaders New Zealand, who hold a 32-point lead over South Africa in the standings with two rounds remaining.

It was South Africa's second win of the series following a 40-21 win over New Zealand in the final of the Las Vegas Sevens in February.

"It's is not every day you beat New Zealand twice in the final," South Africa head coach Paul Treu said. "Every win you have to take, and we can go back to South Africa as a happy team."

South Africa beat France 14-12 in the semi-finals and New Zealand advanced with a 35-17 win over Australia.

Last year's Tokyo Sevens winners, Australia, finished third, crushing France 31-7.

The next round is on May 4-5 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Scorers in final:

South Africa:

Tries: Seabelo Senatla, Cecil Afrika, Cornal Hendricks

Conversions: Branco du Preez (3) 

Penalty drop: Du Preez

New Zealand:

Tries: Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Ben Lam

Conversions: Rocky Khan, Kaka

Results from the Tokyo Sevens, the seventh leg of the IRB world series:



France 14, Scotland 10

South Africa 19, Samoa 12

New Zealand 19, United States 12

Australia 21, Fiji 12


South Africa 14, France 12

New Zealand 35, Australia 17

Third Place

Australia 31, France 7


South Africa 24, New Zealand 19



Scotland 21, Samoa 17

United States 21, Fiji 19


United States 17, Scotland 0



Wales 22, Japan 14

England 40, Portugal 0

Kenya 17, Canada 5

Argentina 14, Spain 0


England 21, Wales 19

Argentina 12, Wales 10


England 38, Argentina 0



Canada 38, Spain 0

Japan 19, Portugal 15


Canada 27, Japan 14

Standings: (After 7 of 9 legs)

 1. New Zealand, 132 points 2. South Africa, 100. 3. Fiji, 98 4. Samoa, 94 4. 5. France, Kenya, 77. 7. Wales 68. 8. Australia, Argentina 62. 10. England, 58.



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