Published: Sun, December 03, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

South Africa triumph in opening World Rugby Sevens Series event in Dubai

South Africa triumph in opening World Rugby Sevens Series event in Dubai

The 14-12 United States win reversed the pool play result, where the Kiwis dominated 45-14, and is the first time the Black Ferns Sevens have lost a match since January - when they were also beaten by the Americans.

The Blitzboks are the Dubai Sevens champions after beating New Zealand 24-12 in the final. A try in the last few seconds from Tim Agaba, however, sealed the 24-12 victory for the Blitzboks.

It was the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year 2016 Seabelo Senatla who showed his tactical awareness for the Blitzboks second, ripping the ball out of a ruck on the Fiji 10 metre line and slipping through the defence untouched.

"We kind of let them back into the game and a silly yellow card and one or two silly mistakes towards the end nearly cost us", Snyman said after the final.

But just as the New Zealanders were punished for an indiscretion so, too, were the BlitzBoks, who lost Rosco Specman to the sin-bin soon after the resumption of play after half-time.

"We deliberately didn't put the guys into anything like this in pre-season as it's such a long season for us so it was always going to be a little bit of a risk".

It was to be a thriller with a 28-21 final score, though it was the effort and determination that pleased head coach Amor the most - even if he knows there is more work to do on the training ground.

They included James Rodwell, who became England Sevens' most capped player last season, while Tom Mitchell, Dan Norton and debutant Harry Glover added to the scoreline.

After losing to New Zealand in the semifinal, England captain Tom Mitchell, said: "It's tough to take and frightful to lose but they seized their chances better than we did". After an interception in their own half, New Zealand stormed forward through Sam Dickson but he got scragged short.

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