Blitzboks claim historic gold

South Africa overcame New Zealand 17-12 to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Sunday.

Coming into the final all the talk was about New Zealand's unbeaten run at the Commonwealth Games, but the Blitzboks showed them to be mere mortals, producing a display of pace and power to write their names in the history books.

Commonwealth gold looked a long way off when they found themselves 7-0 and without the services of talismanic captain Kyle Brown early on, who went off with a suspected dislocated shoulder. The Kiwis seemed to have the upper hand at the breakdowns, while the Blitzboks lacked the incisiveness they had shown on their run to the final.

They would eventually find some cohesiveness after New Zealander Bryce Heem received a yellow card for deliberately kicking the ball away. It would be the scintillating Seabelo Senatla that would get the try – his 10th of the tournament – after taking advantage of a tiring New Zealand defence to level things up going into half-time.

He would grab his second just after the break, again showing an unbelievable turn of pace to beat the Kiwi defence on the outside after some neat interplay with Frankie Horne.

Cecil Afrika then gave South Africa some breathing room after more great work at the breakdown, but back the New Zealanders came.

Joe Webber made it 17-12 with just two minutes to play, but it was not to be for the team from New Zealand. After an Akira Ioane knock-on, South Africa secured possession from the scrum before Werner Kok slammed the ball into touch to end the Kiwi's reign and give the Blitzboks the gold in Glasgow.

South Africa – Tries: Seabelo Senatla (2), Cecil Afrika. Conversion: Branco du Preez.
New Zealand – Tries: Sherwin Stowers, Joe Webber. Conversion: Gillies Kaka.

Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images