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Rugby: South Africa lead Sevens World Series after home triumph

South Africa retained their title at home as they won their second straight tournament and moved to the top of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series. Photo: Martin Seras Lima / World Rugby.

South Africa retained their title at home as they won their second straight tournament and moved to the top of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series. Photo: Martin Seras Lima / World Rugby.

December 15, 2014: South Africa secured back-to-back wins on the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series by beating New Zealand 26-17 to retain their Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens title in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

 

The hosts’ victory ensured Neil Powell’s side moved to 59 points and overtook Fiji – who finished sixth – in the race to secure the top four places on the series and qualify directly for the 2016 Olympic Games.

 

Philip Snyman, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith all scored in the final, as New Zealand came up short against South Africa for a second successive year, despite taking an early lead and Joe Webber’s two tries. The All Blacks Sevens, who were appearing in their first Cup final of the season, are now third in the standings, 12 points behind Neil Powell’s side.

 

Fiji, who lost to USA in the Plate final, are eight points behind South Africa, while Australia complete the top four with 46 points after three events on the nine-stop circuit.

 

Japan enjoyed their best win of their maiden campaign as a core side by coming from behind to beat former series champions Samoa in the pool stage.

 

New Zealand will enjoy home advantage when the circuit resumes in Wellington in February. South Africa will face, USA, France and Japan in Pool A, while New Zealand tackle England, Canada and non-core side Papua New Guinea in Pool B.

 

Australia top Pool C and face Fiji – who they beat in Dubai and Port Elizabeth – Wales and Portugal, with Pool D comprising Argentina, Scotland, Kenya and Samoa.

 

Source: World Rugby Sevens Series (www.worldrugby.org/sevens-series); Editing by SportAsia

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