Marvellous end to marvellous season
Photo: IRB/Martin Seras Lima
What a season it's been and what a way to finish - I can't wait to see that final again! I think of all the tournaments I've commentated on, that Edinburgh Cup final is probably the best I've seen. It was just fabulous.
Your heart goes out to Australia but the recovery against the odds of South Africa when they were down twice by such a distance, 28-7 and 35-19, defied belief.
And they came back with half a squad too. They had a player carried off, they'd had injury problems even before the game with Neil Powell and Branco du Preez and their captain Kyle Brown not fit to start. It was just so exciting the way it happened.
Scott Hastings, the legendary Scotland international alongside me in the commentary gantry couldn't believe it. He was leaping in the air and saying how this Sevens is the world's greatest game!
The neutral Scotland crowd cheered both teams to the echo and was rewarded with such a thriller, 36-35 with the last try on the hooter. And that just capping what had been another marvellous tournament at the end of a marvellous season.
New Zealand finis quite rightfully as the HSBC Sevens World Series champions and South Africa, with these two back to back titles in London and Edinburgh, overtake England to finish second. I'm sure that they'd quite like to play New Zealand next week, but they like all of us have a few months off until the Gold Coast in November.
Four losses all season
New Zealand were so very consistent. Coming into this Edinburgh tournament they had only lost three games all season. They'd won four tournaments - in South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Australia - and had reached the Cup semis in the other three, and they finished with a semi final - a staggering level to have maintained over the course of what is an increasingly tough trial.
Gordon Tietjens said it himself on the night that he was doubly pleased to win this Series because this has been the year when the game of Sevens really has taken off and become so competitive across the board.
South Africa's late charge was too late to turn the tables and they finish 26 points behind New Zealand, but 13 clear of third-placed England, who started so well with that super win in Dubai but faded late on.
And Fiji. Who would want to coach Fiji?! One week they put 42 points on New Zealand, the next they come unstuck against Scotland and then Australia but then blow down the barn door to beat Samoa and finish the season in fourth.
The Samoans too had a really solid season as reigning champions and blooded some exciting new players and Australia came strong again towards the end of the season to finish sixth ahead of Wales, who also finished the year on such a high making two Cup semis.
A word on Gordon Tietjens
I must just pay tribute to Titch, for whom Edinburgh was a 100th World Series tournament and who has now won nine of the 12 Series titles. He's probably the most successful coach of any sport anywhere in the world. His consistency matches his team's. A remarkable man, he rules with a pretty tough rod of iron, it's a disciplined regime and his players live up to it - in fitness, off the field, in every aspect.
And he has got two outstanding talents. One is to find players of huge potential - 36 All Blacks have come through the Sevens - and the other is his understanding of the game, his tactical approach.
He knows exactly what to tell the players. He knows the fitness needed, the skills, the match day preparation, how to keep the players going at the end of two long weeks when some of the others are flagging perhaps.
He finds them, he hones them, he harnesses them into a machine, and this machine seldom conks out.
Video: Sevens Player of the Year
Tomas Cama: For me Tomasi Cama is by far and away the most talented playmaker out there at the moment. He's got vision, he's got speed, all round skills but it's his understanding, his mental ability to choose what to do and when.
That key ingredient of decision making which is so important for a playmaker, and which has been so important for New Zealand this season, he has it in his blood and he's never played better than this season.
Cecil Afrika: A Superstar in the making, Cecil Afrika has been inspirational, the catalyst for what South Africa have done and achieved this season, and let's not forget that they've finished with three Cup titles - only one less than New Zealand.
He's got electrifying pace off the mark and flat speed and is on a par with Cama in his appreciation of where to go when. A superb reader of the game and it must be great for Paul Treu as an innovative coach to have a conductor out there on the field to carry it all out for him to the letter.
Tim Mikkelson: And the third man up for the award is a second New Zealander. To be honest you could probably have picked half a dozen of their players but Tim Mikkelson has, right from the start, been a bit of an unsung hero.
A tall lanky figure, he might not look like much of a rugby player when he's around the team hotel, but he is. Hard to tackle, very quick, also a vital ball-winner in the lineout, ruck and maul. An forward or a back and so very consistent, Gordon Tietjens knows he can pick him in every game, and in Sevens that's a massive plus.
The IRB Sevens Player of the Year, in association with HSBC, will be announced at the IRB Awards in asociation with Emirates Airline on 24 October, the night after the Rugby World Cup final in Auckland.