Cape Town - The Blitzboks maintained their strong lead at the top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, despite losing to Fiji in the final of the Hong Kong Sevens on Sunday.
A title at the Hong Kong National Stadium keeps on eluding the Blitzboks, but coach Neil Powell will be pretty pleased with his team reaching a seventh consecutive final of the 2016/17 season and more importantly, not giving Fiji or England any leeway on the overall series log, despite a lop-sided 22-0 scoreline in the final.
South Africa came into the tournament with a 23-point margin over England in second and 26 over Fiji in third and will depart with that lead intact with only tournaments in Singapore, Paris and London left in the series.
Fiji's win moved them into second place, 23 points adrift of the Blitzboks, with England losing ground in third, now 32 points adrift in third place.
The tournament also delivered a few personal highlights.
• Cecil Afrika, who played in his 50th tournament in the series, extended his career point's scoring record to 1227.
• Branco du Preez became the second South African to move past 1000 points. Du Preez scored in Hong Kong and 1010 in his career.
• Ryan Oosthuizen, who travelled to Hong Kong as the reserve player also made his debut for the Blitzboks when he replaced Selvyn Davids before the final.
The series now moves to Singapore on April 15 and 16.
The World Series standings after seven tournaments are:
1. South Africa 145
2. Fiji 122
3. England 113
4. New Zealand 97
5. USA 82
6. Australia 79
7. Argentina 69
8. Scotland 61
9. Canada 54
10. Wales 53