Las Vegas 7s: BlitzBoks are true champions

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 01:35

FINAL WRAP: South Africa stretched their lead in the Sevens World Series with an impressive19-12 win over Fiji in Las Vegas on Sunday.

It was Cup Final win number FOUR for the BlitzBoks, who have followed up successes in Dubai, Wellington and Sydney with another gold-standard performance in Las Vegas.

They have played 30 games on this season's tour and lost just twice - both times to England, once in the Cape Town Final, the only tournament they have not won.

"This was the most difficult of them all," Philip Snyman, South Africa's captain, said.

"Hats off to the boys, we kept our composure at the end.

"Fiji wanted to get one back over us, but credit to the boys.

"Now we go to cooler conditions in Vancouver and hopefully we can continue with the form we are in.

"One or two small injuries and one or two things to improve on but hopefully we’ll get that sorted for next week."

Player of the Final, Rosko Specman, said: "It feels fantastic to win, but the team is doing the hard work.

"I think maybe it's lucky No.11. I am wearing the shirt from Seabelo [Senatla], maybe it is giving me that little bit of extra speed!"

We look at all the finals!

Cup Final - South Africa 19-12 Fiji

The first try came after a number of turnovers that had players throwing their hands up all over the place.

Back-to-back penalties against the BlitzBoks and after Neil Powell's men perform a miracle to prevent a Jerry Tuwai try by winning a turnover, Fiji won it again seconds later and Masivesi Dakuwaqa scored.

The wind was playing havoc with both teams' passing game.

Four minutes in and South Africa got their first meaningful touch of the ball.

Ruhan Nel got rocked with a big hit and Vatemo Ravouvou was shown a yellow card for tackling with no arms.

That allowed the BlitzBoks, with a little help from the wind, to get their first score - as Siviwe Soyizwapi went back in-field to Cecil Afrika who raced over.

The premier forward in the Sevens game, Chris Dry, was ultimately South Africa's try-scorer, but it was Rosko Specman that did all the damage.

He demonstrated some incredible footwork, feinted to go left and then went right before sending Dry in the clear.

Moments later rampant Specman took it to another level with a left foot step, as he eyes up Jerry Tuwai who just couldn't stick with him and he gave his country a two-converted-tries lead.

You knew Fiji would not go quietly. They needed two converted tries in the last minute and Waisea Nacuqu went over in the corner.

The conversion was good, but the Pacific Islanders still needed to win the restart.

The BlitzBoks steal it and Mocenacagi was red-carded for a ridiculously dangerous tackle in the air that saw Werner Kok land on his head. The emotions boiled over, but the match officials managed to restore order and the ball was hacked into touch as South Africa took another title.

Bronze medal play-off - United States 19-15 New Zealand

United States captain Madison Hughes was ruled out of this one with an injury.

The Eagles raced out the blocks and Maka Unufe spun out of an attempted tackle to get the try. Stephen Tomasin converted before New Zealand's Dylan Collier was sent to the sin-bin.

Dylan Collier returned to the field and offloaded masterfully to DJ Forbes for a try right in the corner.

Tim Mikkelson keeps on getting better for the All Blacks Sevens and now has 189 tries to his name.

Ben Pinkelman identified the space and Danny Barrett scrambled it over and is now just one try shy of a half-century.

But there was an UNBELIEVABLE response from Sione Molia, who took on practically the whole American side to score an epic try.

This was absolute see-saw action. Seemingly from the dead, the hosts staged yet another incredible comeback with more late day heroics. Ben Pinkelman drew the defender and gave it to Andrew Durutalo who won it for the USA.

Fifth-place play-off - Australia 7-10 England

With the breeze still whipping up off the desert, Tom Bowen stepped on the accelerator and went over for England against their old enemy.

It was textbook work from the English attack with plenty of width and a burst of pace from Bowen.

Lachie Anderson turned provider for Australia with a magic offload for Nick Malouf, who only had to dot the ball down. Tom Lucas converted to give Australia the lead at the halfway point.

Richard de Carpentier chased Mitchell's chip forward and inches from dotting down, but he didn't have the legs and the ball ran out of bounds.

There were just two points in it with the clock on zero.

There was an amazing finish to the fifth place play-off.

Ruaridh McConnochie booted it forward, Dan Norton is on the chase and offloaded to 18-year-old Charlton Kerr. He's only been on the field for a matter of seconds and the debutant landed a try with his very first touch to win it for England!

Challenge Trophy Final - Kenya 21-14 Samoa

Samoa made a useful start with Tila Mealoi having caused havoc in the midfield again.

But it was the legendary Collins Injera in the scrumhalf role who drew first blood by cruising through the Samoan defence for try number 242.

Willy Ambaka ran 30 metres across the field before Kenya's 33-year-old captain Andrew Amonde barged through two tackles and came out the other side of the tryline.

Hugely impressive physical power game from the Kenyans saw them take a 14-0 lead into the break.

Samoa were doing some outstanding work at the breakdown, courtesy of Joe Perez and Lafaele Vaa. Joe Perez gained possession and set it up for Tila Mealoi to score, before the Samoan star scored try number 40 of his career and levelled the scores with his conversion.

That was 14 unanswered points all scored by that man Mealoi.

A superb double in the Challenge Trophy Final for the Kenya captain Andrew Amonde - and what a perfect time to score his second with less than a minute on the clock.

Amonde is a serious athlete and Samoa can do nothing to stop him thundering through and snatching victory for Kenya.

"It was bittersweet," Andrew Amonde, Kenya's captain, said on his team's win in the Challenge Trophy Final.

"We didn't perform too well here but it's good to get something.

"Big thanks to the fans, we know we have more and we can build on that for Vancouver."

Thirteenth-place play-off - Japan 19-21 Wales

The Welsh missed two early tackles and conceded two tries as a result from Dai Ozawa and Ryota Kano after Adam Thomas had given them an early lead.

Patrick Stehlin came in like a bullet off the left after a stop-and-go from Ryota Kano upended a Welsh defender, and Stehlin sauntered. One thing you can't coach, though, is gas as Ethan Davies finished brilliantly for the Welsh.

It was a well-earned win for Wales who grabbed 13th spot in Las Vegas with a narrow victory over brave Japan.

Sources: @WorldRugby7s

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