Monday, 11 December, 2017

All Blacks Sevens beaten by South Africa in Dubai final

South Africa's Kwagga Smith front slips through New Zealand's defence in the final of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai the United Arab Emirates Saturday Dec. 2 2017. South Africa beat New Zealand 24-12 defending its last year's Sluggish start for Blitzboks in World Seven Series
Elias Hubbard | 03 December, 2017, 01:47

With his most experienced side ever, head coach Neil Powell notched up his fifth tournament win of 2017 and continued South Africa's dominance on the global stage.

The national sevens team dusted off their dispiriting defeat at the hands of South Africa to overpower Uganda 29-14 and secure their Cup Quarters slot at the HSBC World Series opening leg in Dubai.

New Zealand typically fought back after Rosko Specman was yellow carded‚ with tries through Andrew Knewstubb and captain Scott Curry to make it a nervy end to the match.

Smith was named player of the final but Senatla was among the best players at the tournament.

"We kind of let them back into the game and a silly yellow card and one or two silly mistakes towards the end nearly cost us", Snyman said after the final.

"It was a long pre-season and a lot of guys went on to play some 15s so it's a new team with some unfamiliar faces".

They faced the challenge of New Zealand, who followed a 14-12 quarter-final win over Kenya by then overcoming England 14-5 in the last four.

"We aren't focused on the result‚ we are focused on the processes and our aim is to leave the pitch happy knowing we did all we can‚ even if the result doesn't go our way".

A fine first half display from Shujaa saw them lead 12-7 at the interval after turning tables that saw New Zealand sprint straight from kick-off for Dylan Collier to ground the converted try. With the conversion good, Fiji mounted their comeback through Jerry Tuwai, the quick footed playmaker running in an easy score after multiple phases of play stretched the defence thin. After an interception in their own half, New Zealand stormed forward through Sam Dickson but he got scragged short.

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