6 May 2013
The Springbok Sevens team became the only team to win three times in the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series when they captured the Edinburgh Sevens with a 28-21 victory over New Zealand on Sunday.
It was South Africa’s second successive tournament win, following on victory in Tokyo last month. In fact, they have won three of the last four tournaments. Fiji, with two wins, is the only team to have won twice, while New Zealand has won just once despite making five finals.
The Kiwis, however, captured the overall 2012/13 HSBC World Series title by reaching the final in Edinburgh, with South Africa in second place with one tournament left to go.
Fiji can still overhaul South Africa for second spot, providing they win the last tournament in London and the Blitzbokke fail to make the Cup quarter-finals.
Commenting after the final, Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu was quick to congratulate New Zealand for their Series win.
“They were the most consistent team this year and that is why they are the overall champions, so it is well deserved to them,” he said.
Treu then paid tribute to his players. “We arrived here without two of our playmakers (Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika), but this just made the remaining players in the squad much more determined.
“We had to nurse a couple of players through this tournament, so it is very rewarding to see their hard work paying off.”
The final was a tense affair. South Africa started well with a great try by Seabelo Senatla, but the Kiwis scored from the restart to level matters. They subsequently took a lead into half-time with a well-worked try (14-7).
Treu’s talk at the break then lifted the Blitzbokke. “The coach reminded us to what our strong points are and urged us to execute that. He asked us to play minute-to-minute, doing what we do best. We did that and it worked for us,” captain Frankie Horne said afterwards.
Tries by Steven Hunt, Philip Snyman and Cornal Hendricks took South Africa into a comfortable 28-14 lead before New Zealand added another converted try to set up a thrilling finish.
South Africa’s defence held up to the challenge and the title was theirs.
Earlier, they outclassed USA in the Cup quarters, beating them 22-5. Chris Dry, Senatla (2) and Paul Delport scored the tries.
In the semi-finals, they faced England and, again, two breakaway tries by the speedy Senatla set-up the win. A Cornal Hendricks try secured a 24-17 victory.
On day one, the Blitzbokke edged Kenya and Canada 17-14 and thumped Samoa 27-0 to finish top of their pool.
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