Blitzbokke win Plate final
Cape Town - The Blitzbokke have won the Plate competition at the Wellington leg of the Sevens World Series after beating Tonga in the final.
South Africa won 24-0 in rainy conditions, after leading 19-0 at half-time.
The South Africans piled on the pressure early, camping in the Tongan 22m area, and were awarded when Frankie Horne went over under the posts in the second minute.
Cecil Afrika converted for a 7-0 lead.
SA kept the pressure on after the restart and Afrika went over in the corner after a brilliant solo effort when he broke through on the blindside after a scrum. He missed the tricky conversion though. (12-0)
The Blitzbokke had another chance to score straight away but Stephan Dippenaar knocked the ball on ten metres from the goal-line to give the Tongans a breather.
But the Islanders struggled to get out of their own half, with handling errors and discipline letting them down, and when SA skipper Kyle Brown went over on the stroke of half-time the game was all but over.
Branco Du Preez converted for a 19-0 lead at the break.
Tonga fought bravely at the start of the second half, mounting phase after phase, but lacked the impetus to break a strong South African defence.
Midway through the half Afrika broke from a scrum to put speedster Cornal Hendricks away but he was hauled in by the last Tongan defender to force a line-out deep into Tongan territory.
From there Tonga launched a promising attack up field but poor handling again halted their charge.
The Blitzbokke kicked up field from the ensuing scrum and forced a penalty when Tonga went off their feet at breakdown close to their own goalline. Du Preez opted for a quick tap and after several passages of play Afrika rounded off to finish the game in style.
Du Preez missed the conversion but South Africa claimed a resounding victory which will give them confidence for the next tournament in Las Vegas.
Earlier, the Blitzbokke defeated Canada 21-19 in a tight semi-final after they went down 21-5 to Fiji in the Cup quarter-finals.