South Africa beat Australia 33-7 in the final of the Dubai Sevens to clinch the title in Round Two of the IRB World Series.
The result see the Blitzbokke rise to second in the overall series standings, behind Fiji who beat New Zealand in the third-place play-offs.
South Africa put on a dominant display in the final after earlier disposing of defending series champions New Zealand, with Kwagga Smith putting in a commanding performance in attack and defence.
End-to-end rugby was the feature of the early exchanges with neither side able to break up the opposition defence. It was South Africa’s three-try semi final hero Smith who posted first points with a strong bust down the right. Australia hit back right on half time spreading the ball wide to Pama Fau, levelling at 7-all going into the break.
Unlike the first half it was only a matter of seconds before the scoreboard ticked over again, Philip Snyman diving low beside the posts for the Springboks second. Sam Myers had a chance to level the score for Australia but was held up over the line by Smith in a last ditch show of strength.
Seabelo Senatla then put on the after burners to chase down a kick and score to extend South Africa’s lead to 21-7. Senatala’s second and Ruhan Nel five pointer sealed the win – and obliged some sports betting markets.
“We didn’t play our best in Australia but this was a fantastic event for us,” South African captain Kyle Brown said. “We’ve worked hard on our defence all day and this means a lot to all of us. We’ll enjoy tonight for sure!”
Earlier, South Africa produced a dominant 28-0 win over defending series champions New Zealand to book a place in the Cup final Everything Kwagga Smith touched turned to points in the first half as he locked away a hat-trick giving South Africa a 21-0 lead, with Cecil Afrika putting the icing on the cake for Neil Powell’s charges with a breakaway try with two minutes remaining.
Third-place playoff: Fiji 26-12
Fiji 24-29 Australia
South Africa 28-0 New Zealand
Fiji 31-17 Wales
Australia 22-17 Scotland
South Africa 40-0 Argentina
New Zealand 29-7 England
Scotland 12-26 Argentina
Argentina came from behind to defeat Scotland 26-12 in an entertaining Plate final. After a closely contested start it took a clever Colin Gregor crossfield kick to break the shackles for Scotland, the ball ending up in Mark Robertson’s hands for the first try.
Scott Wight followed up with a five-pointer of his own and Scotland led by 12 before Patricio Fernandez broke through for Argentina on the stroke of half time reducing the margin to 12-7. Argentina were first to strike in the second stanza with Segundo Tuculet picking up a double putting his side ahead 21-12. Alex Muller closed out the win for Argentina with the final try on the siren
Earlier, Argentina beat Simon Amors injury-depleted England 21-19. A Tom Bowen first half brace set up a 12-7 lead for England at the break. But Argentina were not to be denied posting tries through Santiago Alvarez and Gaston Revol to steal the win.
Scotland’s Colin Gregor added two tries to his impressive tournament points tally on the way to booking a berth in the Plate final as his side defeated Wales 31-7. An opportunistic try from Scott Riddell had the Scots up 14-0 at the break before outscoring Wales three tries to one in the second stanza.
France 21-31 Samoa
Samoa came from 14-0 down to defeat France 31-21 in the Bowl final. France looked to be in control early with tries to Julien Candelon and Julien Saubade. Samoa hit back with Reupena Levasa and Tom Iosefo tries to level the score at 14-all before France scored on half time for a 21-14 lead. Three unanswered tries in the second half, including Levasa’s second, powered the Samoans home.
Earlier, Samoa scored three tries to two, including a double from Siaosi Asofolau ‘s in their 19-14 semi final win over Portugal, while France defeated the USA 24-15. Two tries apiece to Terry Bouhraoua and Julien Saubade the highlight of an entertaining fixture. Carlin Isles showcased his speed yet again with a stunning five-pointer down the right wing evading a hard chasing Bouhraoua along the way.
Canada 19-12 Kenya
Canada defeated Kenya 19-12 in the Shield final scoring three tries to two, including a double by Justin Douglas. Andrew Amonde and Leonard Mugaisi crossed for Kenya.
“It’s a positive finish for the guys,” said head coach Liam Middleton. “It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for us this weekend. A few of our technical aspects need to improve for next week but definitely some areas to build on. ”
Earlier, Canada advanced to the final after defeating Japan 29-14. Sean Duke bagged a double in the win to become Canada’s leading all-time points-scorer overtaking Dave Moonlight while Kenya beat Brazil 22-7 in the other Cup semi-final to earn their place.
With thanks to the World Rugby