IRB sevens- SA on fire in George
South Africa have won their home Sevens Cup title for the first time, coming from behind in a thrilling final to beat defending champions New Zealand 12-7.
By engraving their name in the George trophy, South Africa also won successive IRB Sevens World Series Cup titles for the first time and open up a 12-point lead on the rest of the pack. NZ is next in line and Fiji & Samoa are the other Oceania teams now chasing from behind.
In the final New Zealand scored first through their captain DJ Forbes but Renfred Dazel snatched one back at the end of a tight first half, at the end of which South Africa trailed 7-5. The Boks camped out for much of the second period in New Zealand's 22 but looked destined to miss out again with New Zealand's famous defence holding firm, but Mzwandile Stick jinxed through the defence with two minutes on the clock to score what proved to be the decisive try.
After 2 superb victories in both Dubai and George, South Africa have a maximum 40 points in the World Series, ahead of New Zealand on 28 and England and Fiji on 24, Samoa follow on 12 and Australia on 4. This is not an ideal start for the Oceania teams, but the hit out and real game time will well and truly let our teams know what fitness they have to do over the Christmas holidays. So much so that it seems the team that will use Christmas the most not as a festive season will peak at the World Cup in March.
Tietjens said he was pleased with the improvement the players showed since Dubai. "It was a close final and a couple of mistakes came back to haunt us. That's the nature of sevens rugby and you pay the penalty for that," Tietjens said.
Now the men and coaches will all be doing the long flights home, master coaches Tietjens and Serevi have seen it all and won’t be panicking too much, their respective rugby nations public will not be so much at ease and will want a lot more in Wellington in Feb.