Awesome Afrika delivers success on a Plate for SA

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 March, 2011, 12:00am

Cecil Afrika atoned for perhaps the only mistake he made in the tournament with a dominant display in the Plate final against Australia to give South Africa their second sevens trophy in succession.

Afrika (pictured) was electric in the last round in Las Vegas, firing South Africa to Cup success, but a knock-on in sudden death in the Cup quarter-final against Fiji gave the Pacific Islanders a try and condemned the Springboks to the Plate. He shrugged that off, and was impeccable with the boot in a comfortable win over Portugal before scoring a try and adding three conversions in the 26-19 win over Australia.

'He felt a bit bad [after Fiji], but players can make mistakes,' coach Paul Treu said. 'He slotted everything in the Plate semi-final and that's why we won, but he's a key player in so many ways. He organises our attack and defence.

'And other players like Branco du Preez and Sibusiso Sithole see him step up and they do the same, and the more we get like that, the more we're gaining ground. He was clinical most of the tournament, we can cut him some slack. He's been amazing.'

He certainly was: Afrika was top points scorer (88), top try scorer (8) and top goalscorer (24) over the weekend, and duly won the player of the tournament prize.