It was not such a successful Cape Town Sevens for Oceania. New Zealand fared best finishing 3rd after beating Scotland 24-19 in the Bronze final after an earlier 7-14 Cup semi-final loss to South Africa. Fiji, after giving up a 19-0 lead against England in the Cup quarter-final to miss out on the semi-finals, eventually finished 5th after victories over USA and Kenya.
It was a disappointing tournament for Australia who finished third in their Pool to miss out on the Cup quarter-finals. A win over Uganda put them into the Trophy semi-finals but they went down to Argentina 17-21 to finish 11th. Samoa also failed to fire on Day 1 and eventually finished 13th after losing on Day 2 to Canada.
England broke South African hearts with a 19-17 win to take gold at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens.
Despite Werner Kok scoring in the last seconds with England down to six men, a missed conversion from Justin Geduld ensured Simon Amor’s side won their first Cup since Tokyo 2015.
In an enthralling final, Chris Dry showed incredible pace to beat Tom Mitchell to the try line with the first try of the match before Richard de Carpentier hit back immediately to give England a 7-5 lead. Dan Norton added another to his weekend tally after an impressive pass from Dan Bibby to make the scores 12-5 at half-time, with South Africa losing Branco du Preez to injury.
Du Preez’s replacement, Rosko Specman, scored another wonder try early in second-half, chipping over the England defence and dotting down under the posts to draw the scores level. But, soon afterwards, HSBC player of the final Ruaridh McConochie stepped inside Philip Snyman to give England another lead.
Norton was then sent to the sin bin with less than a minute remaining for a nervy finish, allowing South Africa and Werner Kok to score in the corner but Geduld missed the conversion to give England the win.
England close the gap on series leaders South Africa, finishing the first two rounds on 39, two behind South Africa but ahead of Fiji (32), Scotland and New Zelaand (both 27).
Semi-finals: Scotland 14-33 England
England ended Scotland’s involvement in the Cup competition for a second week running, beating the Auld Enemy 33-14 in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens semi-finals.
Charlie Hayter scored twice and Dan Norton continued his fine form to open up a 19-0 lead before Mark Robertson hit back for the Scots on the stroke of half-time. But replacements Oliver Lindsay-Hague and Ethan Waddleton secured a win for Simon Amor’s side to set up a final against the hosts.
Semi-finals: South Africa 14-7 New Zealand
Hosts South Africa beat the All Blacks Sevens 14-7 in a pulsating semi-final to reach the HSBC Cape Town Sevens final.
In a tight encounter, Sherwin Stowers opened the scoring after a prolonged period of possession for New Zealand, before Seabelo Senatla created space for Branco du Preez to dart under the posts to make it 7-7 at half-time.
In the second half Rosko Specman scored a brilliant try, running the entire length of the pitch to the delight of the home crowd.
South Africa possess the meanest defence so far in the series, conceding just 11 tries, and held out in the second seven minutes to book their place in a home final as they looked to defend their title.
South Africa beat Wales 33-0 in their quarter-final with Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Chris Dry, Ruhan Nel and Rosko Specman scoring for the hosts.
Tim Mikkelson, Sherwin Stowers and Scott Curry showed signs that New Zealand are getting back to their best after a disappointing campaign in Dubai. They all scored in their quarter-final against Kenya, with the captain grabbing two in their 28-7 victory.
In a thrilling third quarter-final, Scotland captain Scott Wight scored the winning try in sudden-death extra-time for a 24-19 win over the USA. Having agonisingly missed out last week in Dubai, this time they made the last four, after earlier tries from Scott Wight, Mark Robertson and James Fleming. USA captain Perry Baker, who impressed all weekend, scored two for the Americans.
In the fourth quarter-final, Olympic gold medallists Fiji were beaten by England after Dan Norton scored in sudden-death extra-time. Simon Amor’s side came from 19-0 behind to tie the scores at 26-26 after Ruaridh McConnochie’s effort, and it was England's all-time leading try scorer who snatched the win.
The next round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series moves to Wellington, New Zealand on 28 and 29 January, 2017. Click here to find out where you can watch the action in your region.
(Thanks to World Rugby)