Taking a leaf out of the books of their more fancied seniors, the Blitzboks were crowned champions of the opening leg of the 2019/20 World Rugby Sevens Series by outclassing record tournament winners, New Zealand in the Cup final in Dubai on Saturday.
South Africa emerged 15-0 winners thanks very much to outplaying the nine-time series winners in every department from start to finish. Neil Powell’s troops, who boast three series titles of their own, had in the earlier quarter-final beaten Argentina 12-5 before running out 38-7 winners against Samoa in the subsequent semi-final.
The Blitzboks were far better than New Zealand in the first half, but a 5-0 lead was all they had to show for that dominance when skipper Siviwe Soyizwapi went over in the left corner towards the end of the half. Before that, the Blitzboks had come agonisingly close through Chris Dry and Zain Davids but were left wanting courtesy of a stern Kiwis defence.
But after dominating possession and territory in the opening stages of the second half, Dry finally found purchase following another sustained period of attack by the green and gold. New Zealand found rhythm of their own towards the end of the match, but by then it was too late. The final nail in the coffin for the Kiwis came when Seabelo Senatla pounced on a loose ball to run the length of the field to score South Africa’s third.