South Africa down New Zealand to retain USA Sevens title
South Africa won a second straight USA Sevens title on Sunday with a 14-7 triumph over New Zealand, overtaking the Kiwis for first place in the IRB Sevens World Series.
Branco du Preez and Werner Kok scored tries after a Scott Curry effort in a repeat of last year’s final at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
It was a second straight Cup crown for Neil Powell’s side, who notched an emotional win on home soil in December in the third leg of the series.
They moved atop the standings with 78 points – just one more than New Zealand who host the next tournament from February 7-8.
The impressive South Africans set a record with their victory, conceding only 14 points in their six matches, the fewest ever in a Cup win.
“Unbelievable feeling, but well deserved for the players,” Powell said. “They work hard back home and it is all credit to them. The guts, the commitment it is unbelievable.”
Powell’s side reached the Cup final with a 14-0 win over the 2010 and 2012 USA Sevens champions Samoa, a try either side of half-time from Chris Dry and Sampie Mastriet.
New Zealand did their part to set up a repeat of last year’s USA Cup final as they came from 7-0 down to beat Canada 26-7. Bryce Heem scored two tries to help New Zealand turn back the Canadians, who were appearing in just their second Cup semi-final.
Canada went on to finish third, their best finish at a World Series event, storming from 12-0 down to beat Samoa 22-19. Phil Mack scored a penalty drop goal with the last play of the match.
Eleven points from Series points-scoring leader Tom Mitchell helped England overcome Australia 26-24 in the Plate final.
Peter Schuster sent Australia through to the Plate final with a try in sudden death extra time after Michael O’Connor’s side had finished the normal 14 minutes locked at 19-19 with Argentina.
England booked their place in the final with a 21-12 win over France.
Five different try scorers crossed the line for Fiji as they beat Kenya 35-0 in the Bowl final.
Having been knocked out of the Cup, Fiji came out firing to beat Wales 40-12 in their Bowl semi-final.
In the other semi-final Kenya erased a 7-0 deficit to beat Scotland 21-7.
The United States snagged the Shield, beating Spain 31-0 in the final with two tries from Zack test.