The Blitzboks beat New Zealand to claim fifth place in the Canada Sevens on Sunday and remain at the summit of the World Sevens Series after six rounds with 111 points.
South Africa suffered a disappointing 28-17 loss to Samoa in the Cup quarter-finals, but finished the tournament in Vancouver on a strong note with wins over France and New Zealand.
The Blitzboks scored six tries – three of those by Siviwe Soyizwapi – as they totally outplayed the French, winning 36-7, before edging the Kiwis 17-15 in the fifth-place final.
Argentina upset Olympic champions Fiji 29-10 to win the Cup final, their first win in the series since 2009.
Marcos Moneta and Felipe Del Mestre scored two tries apiece for Argentina in the emotional triumph over a Fijian side coming off a victory in the Singapore Sevens a week earlier.
The up and down day two at @CanadaSevens done and 5️⃣th place achieved. Not what we came for, but finished with a fight and still in lead of @WorldRugby7s
For a recap, read here: ➡️https://t.co/rVMgIRacvP#BestOfUs. pic.twitter.com/pxOyIFQZb6
— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) April 18, 2022
Off the boot and into his hands 😲
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) April 18, 2022
“You have to dream, because dreams do come,” said Argentinian coach Santiago Gomez Cora, who was playing the last time they won a Cup event on the circuit.
“Ever since I have been a coach this has been the moment I have been working towards, and my players must take all the credit because they work so hard and they wanted to win this one for their country so much.”
Fiji had taken the lead on two minutes with Kaminieli Rasaku’s unconverted try. Ninety seconds later, Moneta scored his ninth try of the weekend, which Tobias Wade converted.
Argentina, who earned Olympic bronze in Tokyo, added two more tries before half time. They led 17-5 with seven minutes remaining, but after Wade received a yellow card, Fiji capitalised with a score from Jerry Tuwai.
But Del Mestre’s converted try, set up by Moneta, put Argentina up 24-10, and another try from Del Mestre ended it.
Australia took the bronze medal, rallying in the second half for a 21-19 victory over Samoa.
Argentina jumped into second place on 105 points, and Australia finished the weekend third on 100 points.
England, thumped 40-17 by Argentina in the quarter-finals, also bid Dan Norton, the top all-time series try-scorer with 358, farewell.
The 34-year-old, who was part of the Great Britain side that won Olympic silver at the 2016 Rio Games and represented Team GB at Tokyo last year, had announced this was to be his last tournament.
“I’ve enjoyed the last 14 years annoying the world and annoying my teammates,” Norton said. “I’ve loved every minute of it.”
🎩 @SiviweSoyizwapi brings up his hat-trick in style
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) April 17, 2022
© Agence France-Presse