Blitzbokke claim Port Elizabeth title

Date published: December 15 2014

South Africa overcame New Zealand 26-17 to win the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth and go top of the World Series standings.

The Blitzbokke, fresh from their win in Dubai, saw off England, Australia and New Zealand to make it back-to-back successes and leapfrog Fiji for top spot.

In an end-to-end final, the South Africans just outdid their New Zealand opponents, running in four tries to three.

Sherwin Stowers gave New Zealand the perfect start, only for South Africa to reply through Phil Snyman.

Cecil Afrika’s score put the home side back in front, but he was then sin-binned allowing Joe Webber to cross as New Zealand trailed 12-10 at the break.

South Africa responded well though, thanks to some great interplay between Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Senatla saw the latter cross. Branco du Preez converted, but New Zealand came back again through Webber.

Still, they’d left themselves too much to do and it was Smith who had the final word as he sealed the title for South Africa.

New Zealand had reached the final thanks to a 29-0 win over Argentina in which Sam Dickson scored two tries, with DJ Forbes, Tim Mikkelson and Webber also crossing.

The other semi-final was tighter with Australia dominating the first half thanks to tries from Ed Jenkins and Pama Fou.

Trailing 10-0, South Africa fought back with tries from du Preez, Kyle Brown and Werner Kok.

South Africa had booked a Cup semi-final berth with an emphatic 31-7 win over England.

Australia set up a repeat of last week’s Dubai final after a Fou hat-trick helped Australia to a 29-19 win over Fiji, their second in seven days over the Pacific islanders, assuring another top four finish for Geraint John’s men.

New Zealand accounted for a much-improved USA outfit 28-7 to advance to the top eight.

Meanwhile runaway try to Francisco Merello in sudden death extra time gave Argentina a 24-19 win over Scotland to advance to the last four.

In the Plate final the USA stunned Fiji 21-14, with Carlin Isles in great form as he crossed for the Americans’ first try.

Andrew Durutalo made it 14-0, but after the Fijians had responded through Savanaca Rawaca and Vatemo Ravouvou, Perry Baker went over to win it for the USA.

Canada cruised to victory in the final of the Bowl with a 24-5 success over Kenya to spoil Paul Treu’s swansong with the Kenyans.

Mike Fauilefau, Lucas Hammond, Sean Duke and Pat Kay all crossed for the Canadians in a comfortable victory.

In the semi-final Canada fought back to beat Wales 24-14 while Kenya edged out France 14-12.

Finally in the Shield Portugal sprung a surprise as they beat Samoa 19-14 thanks to two tries from Bernardo Cardoso.

Results from Day Two:

Cup final: South Africa 26-17 New Zealand

Cup semi-finals:
South Africa 19-10 Australia
New Zealand 29-0 Argentina

Cup quarter-finals:
South Africa 31-7 England
Fiji 19-31 Australia
New Zealand 28-7 USA
Argentina 24-19 Scotland

Third place play-off: Australia 34-19 Argentina

Plate final: USA 21-14 Fiji

Plate semi-finals: Fiji 31-0 England
USA 26-19 Scotland

Bowl final: Canada 24-5 Kenya

Bowl semi-finals:
Wales 14-24 Canada
Kenya 14-12 France

Shield final: Portugal 19-14 Samoa

Shield semi-finals:
Samoa 21-14 Zimbabwe
Japan 15-24 Portugal

With thanks to World Rugby