Inspired South Africa win home Sevens title
From Tom Chick at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
An inspired South Africa came from 14-0 down to fight back and win a popular victory against New Zealand, 17-14, to clinch the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens.
It is the first time since 2008 that the South Africans have won their home Sevens tournament, and their first at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, a poignant and fitting tribute to the country's late former President.
In a repeat of the final from two years ago, won in the dying seconds by New Zealand, Branco du Preez and the influential captain Kyle Brown hit back for a spirited South Africa cheered on by over 30,000 fans.
The dramatic victory leaves South Africa just two points behind the All Blacks Sevens in the overall HSBC Sevens World Series standings after three rounds, with Fiji a further eight behinds behind the Blitzbokke.
In the semi finals New Zealand had beaten Samoa 19-5 with player of the tournament Tomasi Cama scoring 14 of their points, and the inspired hosts were then too strong for Argentina winning 31-0 thanks to tries from captain Kyle Brown, Cecil Afrika, Sampie Mastriet, Kwagga Smith and Justin Geduld.
Earlier the South Africans had progressed through to the semi-finals by beating Portugal 45-0 with Werner Kok and Geduld delighting the crowd with two tries apiece, after New Zealand fought off a spirited Kenya to win 19-0. Samoa beat Argentina in the third/fourth play-off to move up to seventh in the overall Series standings.
Last week's champions Fiji win Plate
Ben Ryan's Fiji beat France in an enthralling Plate final, following on from their Cup win in Dubai last weekend.
Julien Candelon scored two tries for France to take his tournament tally to six, but Donasio Ratubuli and Benito Masilevu also scored braces to secure a 45-19 win for the flying Fijians against les Bleus.
Clearly upset by their quarter-final defeat to Samoa, Fiji impressively beat Kenya 52-5, despite playing the majority of the match with six men in the first Plate semi-final. Samisoni Viriviri scored two of their eight tries while Emosi Mulevoro contributed 13 points in the win.
First silverware for England's new coach Amor
Shannon Walker scored his seventh and eighth tries of the tournament but that was not enough as England beat Australia 28-19 to go unbeaten on day two and win the Bowl.
Having finished third and fourth respectively in the first two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series, England were disappointed to have missed out on the Cup competition but ensured they went home with eight Series points by beating Mic O'Connor's side and claiming Simon Amor's first piece of silverware as coach after earlier victories against USA and Scotland.
Australia secured their place in the final by beating Wales 33-21, with Walker scoring a hat-trick in their 38-5 quarter final win against Zimbabwe.
Shield success for Scotland
Tries by Lee Jones and Scott Riddell (2) secured a Shield victory for Scotland as they beat Canada 19-12, despite a second half come back led by an inspired Phil Mack.
WATCH DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS
- The RFU »
- Welsh R.U. »
- Scottish R.U. »
- Fédération Française de Rugby »
- Australian R.U. »
- New Zealand R.F.U. »
- Rugby Canada »
- United States of America Rugby Football Union »
- Union Argentina de Rugby »
- Samoa Rugby Union »
- Federación Española de Rugby »
- Zimbabwe R.U. »
- Fiji R.U. »
- Federação Portuguesa de Rugby »
- South Africa Rugby Union »
- Kenya Rugby Football Union »
13-14 December 2014
Venue: Port Elizabeth Bay Stadium
City: Port Elizabeth