South Africa wins Canada 7s title
And in the early hours of Monday morning it did just that as they surged forward to win the Vancouver Sevens after a weekend of grit and determination, beating France 21-12 in the final.
Following their mixed fortunes earlier in the series and their struggle to try and defend the two World Series titles, the introduction of new players and some intense soul searching, Neil Powell’s side found the right mix at the right time as they produced two days of scintillating rugby to show they simply aren’t a done force yet.
After topping their own pool and downing sevens log leaders USA in the process, to their impressive 31-12 win over their nemesis Fiji in the semifinals, the Blitzboks were a different beast to the team that struggled the previous week in the Las Vegas Sevens.
Out of sorts and struggling for form, the Blitzboks could only achieve a seventh placing in Vegas, with deep fears that they may not be able to make the top four this year and qualify automatically for the Olympics, but the Canadian performance have seen the side in a totally different light.
For once there was passion and determination, there was some hard-running and exceptional offloads and the performances of youngsters JC Pretorius and Muller du Plessis in particular lifted the side to a new height.
The team started the day off with a clinical win over Argentina in the quarters, but what they did in the semis would astound the Sevens magicians Fiji, who pipped New Zealand with a last gasp try in their quarterfinal.
Aminiasi Tuimaba grabbed an early lead for Fiji before the Blitzboks took control and powered their way into the final.
It started off with a double hit within a minute as Stedman Gans – who is developing into an exceptional playmaker – and the fleet-footed Selvyn Davids both crossed the line to take back the lead by the end of the first half.
Then it was Justin Geduld in the second before a brace by Du Plessis ripped the game away from Fiji and sent the Blitzboks into their first final in the series.
An exceptional performance by Davids in the final saw him grab the Player of the final trophy as he scored a try and dominated proceedings as the Blitzboks denied surprise finalists France.
Impi Visser and Werner Kok also crossed the whitewash to seal the victory.
The victory means the Blitzboks have moved a place up to fourth and now have a nine-point lead over fifth placed England. They still sit a massive 24 points behind the USA, who lead the series with four rounds left.
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