Kwagga Smith scored a brace of tries as the Blitzboks clinched a thrilling 19-14 victory over Australia in the Plate final of the Dubai Sevens on Saturday.
Although South Africa would have been hoping for a say in the Cup final, they will be pleased with the character shown to secure a superb comeback win in the Plate decider.
The Blitzboks made a fast and frenetic start to Saturday’s clash, but initially lacked the necessary patience and accuracy with ball in hand. Trailing 14-0 at half-time, the Blitzboks were in some trouble, but they scored two crucial second-half tries to send the match into extra time, with Francois Hougaard scoring the match-winning try after just 30 seconds of additional play.
Sam Myers had opened the scoring for Australia early on, while Aussie captain Ed Jenkins, who had won a couple of crucial penalties at the breakdown, then scored on the stroke of half-time to hand his side a 14-0 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the Blitzboks when Juan de Jongh lost the ball in a tackle when he was over the tryline soon after the restart, but Smith scored almost immediately after to make up for that missed opportunity.
Staring at a disappointing defeat, Cheslin Kolbe then created a moment of magic with the final play of regular time, darting over the tryline and then passing to Smith, who scored under the posts to ensure the match would go into extra time.
The Blitzboks' last-gasp victory would have served as a confidence booster as they now return home for next weekend’s Cape Town Sevens.
Photo: Ken Ishii/Getty Images