Rugby Rugby

S. Africa win Vegas to make it four out of five

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The victory gives them a 24-point buffer at the top of the series standings, with Fiji in second place and England in third following their fifth place finish in Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, United States, Mar 6 – South Africa beat Fiji in Las Vegas to record their fourth tournament win of the World Rugby Sevens Series 2016/17 early Monday morning.

The victory gives them a 24-point buffer at the top of the series standings, with Fiji in second place and England in third following their fifth place finish in Vegas.

The final itself was a tense match-up as Olympic champions Fiji came into the match chasing their first tournament win of the series.

Masivesi Dakuwaqa scored from close range early on in the match following a mistake from Ruhan Nel, but Blitzboks playmaker Cecil Afrika soon replied for the series leaders after latching onto a pass from Siviwe Soyizwapi.

Powerful forward Chris Dry added a try early on in the second half, before HSBC Player of the Final Rosko Specman scorched the turf to score an incredible individual try. Waisea Nacuqu struck back for Fiji but the game was out of sight.

The Blitzboks have finished as series runners-up for four consecutive years yet have had their best start ever to a world series with victories in Dubai, Sydney, Wellington and now Las Vegas.

Their loss to England in the Cape Town Sevens back in December is the only blemish on what has been the perfect start to their 2016/17 campaign and head coach Neil Powell is pleased with the way his side are performing.

“We’re happy with how it’s been going the last few tournaments and the guys are believing in a system and working for each other,” he said.

“They are showing a lot of pride in the jersey and the fact that they can play for their country. They showed a lot of composure in the final and managed to take control back in the second half.”

Hosts USA finished third overall after beating New Zealand 19-15 in the Bronze final, while Kenya took victory in the Challenge Trophy final, beating Samoa 21-14.

Results

Cup

South Africa 19-12 Fiji

Third-place

USA 19-15 New Zealand

Fifth-place

Australia 7-10 England

Challenge Trophy

Kenya 21-14 Samoa

13th place

Japan 19-21 Wales

Standings after five rounds:

1 South Africa 107

2 Fiji 83

3 England 81

4 New Zealand 71

5 Australia 52

6 USA 52

7 Scotland 50

8 Argentina 45

9 Wales 43

10 France 40

11 Kenya 35

12 Canada 34

13 Samoa 23

14 Russia 17

15 Japan 10

16 Uganda 4

17 Papua New Guinea 2

18 Chile 1

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