South Africa have done what no side has been able to do all season and beaten defending Series champions New Zealand in the Final of the Fairmont Homes Adelaide Sevens.
The IRB reports that Fabian Juries scored twice in the final to give the Boks the edge as they ground out a hard-fought 15-7 win to consolidate their position as second in the IRB Sevens World Series and end the kiwis’ unbeaten streak of 47 straight matches, during which time they have won seven back-to-back Cup titles.
New Zealand are still well ahead in the overall race for the Series crown on 126 points with South Africa 34 points behind on 92, 18 points clear of Fiji in third. Mathematically, New Zealand now need just seven points from the London event in May to tie up their Series defence.
Robert Ebersohn was first on the scoreboard in the final and Fabian Juries also crossed to give Paul Treu’s side a 10-0 lead at the break.
Victor Vito struck back for the kiwis in the second half but South Africa succeeded in denying New Zealand too much ball and avoided the confrontational, physical type of game on which they have thrived all season.
With the game fascinatingly poised, Juries broke clear late on to seal victory for the Boks.
Tonga win Plate
Tonga recovered from the disappointment of their slender loss to New Zealand in the Cup quarter finals by holding on in the face of a late Kenya rally to take the Plate title in Adelaide and eight points towards the Series.
The Tongans, who were outstanding throughout the tournament, took an early lead through Peasipa Moimoi and although Peter Ocholla pulled one back for the Kenyans to level at 7-7, Ualosi Kailea scored just before the break. Crucially Poteki made both conversions for the islanders for a seven-point lead.
In the second half Collins Injera scored out wide for the increasingly professional and polished African side but the conversion went wide and Tonga held on in the dying seconds to protect their two-point lead and seal victory.
They earlier won through to the final with respective victories over Australia and the Cook Islands.
Argentina take Bowl title
Argentina won a superb exhibition of running rugby against the USA to land the bowl title in Adelaide.
The Pumas led 12-7 at the break, Bruzzone and del Busto scoring one apiece to Malifa’s effort for the States. Santiago Gomez Cora touched down for his 191st career try to stretch the lead but first Jone Naqica and then Todd Clever scored to edge the USA ahead.
In a breathless finale Gabriel Ascarate crossed to give Argentina the title, and two points for the World Series.
Wales win Shield
Captain Phil Mack scored a first half try for Canada, who then enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory and looked to have the game in the bag before Richie Pugh broke clear on the final hooter to run 60 metres and score under the posts and level the match.
In a breathless sudden death extra time James Lewis latched on to wide ball and take the spoils for Wales.
Canada had earlier seen off the challenge of Japan, while Wales beat England, who went without a single win for the first time ever in an IRB Sevens event.Tweet