Blitzboks go back-to-back

South Africa will finish the year on top of the World Series standings after defeating New Zealand 26-17 in the Cup final at the PE Sevens.

Having won last weekend in Dubai, the Blitzboks came into the tournament in Port Elizabeth with high expectations and they duly delivered to defend the title they won last year.

Their performance may not have been as polished as witnessed in Dubai, but they were once again too strong for the field, with even perennial title contenders, New Zealand, unable to match their intensity.

After suffering a humiliating 28-0 defeat to the Blitzboks in the Cup semi-final last weekend, New Zealand were much improved at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, and played their part in a thrilling final.

Sherwin Stowers opened the scoring for the visitors, before the hosts hit back with a try from Philip Snyman after some great work from Werner Kok to win a penalty at the breakdown.

The Blitzboks hit the front just prior to half-time as Cecil Afrika snuck over from a quick tap after a period of sustained pressure. South Africa, however, were dealt a blow to their hopes when Afrika was sent to the sin bin for a cynical infringement and New Zealand managed to capitalise on his absence with a Joe Webber try after the hooter, as the Blitzboks went in with a 12-10 lead.

The hosts struck first in the second half, as Seabelo Senatla showed the pace that's made him a revelation on the Sevens circuit to outstrip Gillies Kaka and go over in the corner. New Zealand wouldn't lie down, though, and their response came via another well-taken Webber try.

However, that would be the last of their resistance as Kwagga Smith rounded off another great team move to put the victory beyond doubt.

Blitzboks – Tries: Philip Snyman, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith. Conversions: Branco du Preez (3).
New Zealand – Tries: Sherwin Stowers, Joe Webber (2). Conversion: Gillies Kaka.

Photo: @WorldRugby7s