South Africa claimed top prize in Dubai on Saturday after they beat last season’s series champions and Olympic gold medallists, Fiji, 26-14.
The Blitzboks, who impressed over the two days, scored early tries from Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez to put them into an early lead, however Fijian captain Osea Kolinisau fired back to make it 14-7 at half-time.
Straight from the restart Jerry Tuwai touched down under the posts, with the conversion levelling matters at 14-14, but shortly afterwards HSBC player of the final Chris Dry edged South Africa ahead. That score gave his team the momentum and it was a final try from Seabelo Senatla that sealed the match, bringing his tally to a remarkable 11 tries for the tournament.
Speaking afterwards, captain Philip Snyman said: “We just needed to stick to our game plan and structure and that’s exactly what the guys did. We never let Fiji into the game and then they were playing catch-up rugby, which I think worked to our advantage.
“We can be positive going into our home tournament next weekend in Cape Town, but we need to start all over again and fix a few things that went wrong. We need to recover well over the next few days.”
Meanwhile, England and Wales faced off in the battle for bronze in Dubai. Speedster Dan Norton scored four tries while Richard de Carpentier and Charlie Hayter also got on the scoreboard to complete both a 33-10 win and a good weekend for the England.
Australia finished the day in fifth place while USA raised the men’s Challenge Trophy with a 28-14 win over Samoa, with Perry Baker’s beautiful first half chip-and-chase try raising the noise even further at 7he Sevens Stadium on Saturday.
The second round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series moves to Cape Town next weekend where the home side head into the weekend as series leaders