Fiji edge Blitzbokke in Dubai

2013-11-30 19:31
Fiji (AP Photo)
Dubai - Despite a courageous fight back in the second half, which saw them scoring three tries, the Springboks Sevens were outplayed by Fiji who deservedly won their first Dubai Sevens title on Saturday evening.

They beat South Africa 29-17 in an absorbing final after leading 19-0 at halftime.

Fiji were the odds on crowd favourites to lift the cup they have never managed to win in 14 attempts after their thrilling 44-0 semifinal win over New Zealand.

However, they were made to work for their success, especially in the second half, when a depleted but determined South Africa simply refused to give up.

Injuries ruled out a trio of South African players - Frankie Horne, Stephan Dippenaar and Jamba Ulengo – and they were made to play for two minutes without Justin Geduld after he was yellow carded for a deliberate knock down of the ball when a rampant Fiji were on the attack.

Benito Masilevu scored twice and when Saiminosi Viriviri crossed for their third try, Fiji were able to go into halftime with a commanding 19-0 lead.

The Springbok Sevens, who won all their matches on their way to the Cup final, made fewer errors in the second half and finally managed to string a few moves together.

They grew in confidence and this allowed Sampie Mastriet, Chris Dry and Cheslin Kolbe to cross the try line.


Tries: Benito Masilevu x 2, Samisoni Viriviri, Emosi Mulevoro, Leo Naikasau
Con: Emosi Mulevoro x 2

South Africa
Tries: Chris Dry, Sampie Mastriet, Cheslin Kolbe
Con: Cecil Afrika


Final: South Africa17-29 Fiji

Third-place Playoff: New Zealand 17-14 England

New Zealand 0-44 Fiji
South Africa 26-12 England

Emosi Mulevoro scored Fiji’s fifth try to put the match out of reach of South Africa and in doing so capped a very successful weekend for the islanders.

Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, said Fiji deserved their victory: “Fiji were the better team and deserved to win. They started very positively, put us under huge pressure and really used their opportunities well.”

Powell  added he was very  pleased how his team responded in the second half: “We knew we had to score first after the restart, gain some momentum and to put them under pressure. We tried our best but they proved too strong in the end. I am very proud of the boys and now we are looking forward to build on this performance next week at home in Port Elizabeth,” said Powell.

Read more on:    blitzbokke  |  fiji  |  dubai sevens  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Who is your favourite South African rugby commentator - English or Afrikaans?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.