Blitzboks upset Fiji to win Dubai Sevens event

2016-12-03 18:01
Seabelo Senatla (AP)

Cape Town - The Springbok Sevens side won the World Rugby Sevens Series event in Dubai after upsetting Olympic gold medallists Fiji in the Saturday's Cup Final.

Full list of the results from the Dubai Sevens

The Blitzboks won 26-14, after leading 14-7 at the break.

It was a pulsating final in the first event on the 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series calender, and also the first time a final had been contested seven minutes each half, having been contested in 10-minute halves in previous seasons.

The South Africans raced to an early 14-0 lead - via tries from Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez.

They then kept Fiji pegged back inside their own half, but failed to extend their lead, before the islanders pounced on their first opportunity, with captain Osea Kolinisau going over shortly before the break.

Fiji levelled matters (14-all) straight after the restart when Jerry Tuwai pounced on a loose ball to score under the posts.

But shortly afterwards, the Blitzboks re-took the lead when they capitalised on a Fijian handling error in midfield - a counter-attack which sent man-of-the-match Chris Dry over near the corner. Du Preez slotted a tough conversion attempt for a 21-14 advantage.

For the next three minutes, the Fijian pressure was relentless, but South Africa held firm and closed out the game when Senatla chased down a clever kick from Rosko Specman to score in the corner.

The South Africans will take huge confidence into next weekend's home event in Cape Town, where they are the defending champions.

Earlier on Saturday, the Blitzboks reached the final when they thumped Wales 36-5 in the semi-finals, having thrashed New Zealand 40-0 in the quarter-finals.

England claimed third prize after beating Wales 38-10 in the Bronze Final.


South Africa

Tries: Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez, Chris Dry, Seabelo Senatla

Conversion: Du Preez (3)


Tries: Osea Kolinisau, Jerry Tuwai

Conversions: Kolinisau (2)

The top five log positions after the opening tournament:

1. South Africa 22
2. Fiji 19
3. England 17
4. Wales 15
5. Australia 13

The pools for next weekend’s Cape Town Sevens have also been confirmed:

Pool A: South Africa, Australia, USA, Russia
Pool B: Fiji, France, Kenya, Japan
Pool C: England, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada
Pool D: Wales, Scotland, Samoa, Uganda


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