South Africa stretch lead with victory in USA Sevens

South Africa secured their fourth tournament win of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 after beating Fiji 19-12 in Las Vegas.

A supreme solo try in the second half from Blitzboks flyer Rosko Specman proved crucial as South Africa managed to edge their Pacific island rivals in what was a blustery day at the Sam Boyd Stadium.

The victory moves them to 107 series points, giving them a 24-point buffer at the top of the series standings. Fiji are in second on 83 with England in third on 81 following their fifth-place finish.

The perennial bridesmaids, the Blitzboks have finished as series runners-up for each of the past four years. Could this year be their time to shine? So far, so good – they are currently enjoying their best start to a world series with victories in Dubai, Sydney, Wellington and now Las Vegas. Their loss to England in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens back in December is the only blemish on what has been a great start to the 2016-17 campaign and head coach Neil Powell is pleased with the way his side are performing.

“We’re happy with how it’s been going the last few tournaments and the guys are believing in a system and working for each other,” he said. “They are showing a lot of pride in the jersey and the fact that they can play for their country. They showed a lot of composure in the final and managed to take control back in the second half.”

Hosts USA finished third overall after beating New Zealand 19-15 in the bronze final, while Kenya took victory in the Challenge Trophy final, beating Samoa 21-14.

The next round of the series will take place in Vancouver, Canada, on 11-12 March.