Tokyo glory for Blitzbokke
Tokyo glory for BlitzbokkeSHARE
South Africa bounced back from a disappointing Hong Kong Sevens tournament by beating New Zealand 24-19 to lift the title in Tokyo.
It was a repeat performance for South Africa, following their 40-21 victory over New Zealand in the fifth round of the Sevens World Series in the United States last month.
South Africa went into the break trailing 12-0, but rallied early in the second half.
Branco du Preez scored nine points from three conversions and a penalty, while Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla and Cornal Hendricks scored a try each.
"It is unbelievable," said South Africa coach Paul Treu.
"For us we have been so unlucky throughout the year. To come back again after a disappointing tournament in Hong Kong, to bounce back and give a performance like that, it is not every day you beat New Zealand twice in the final. It is good momentum going into the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow," he added.
In the semifinals, New Zealand beat last year's champions Australia 35-17 while Paul Treu's side held on to beat France 14-12.
Last year's champions Australia finished third after beating France 31-7, USA won the Plate, England the Bowl and Canada the Shield.
USA beat fellow relegation rivals Scotland 17-0 in the final of the Plate to secure vital points towards their Series tally and they now sit on level points in joint 12th ahead of Glasgow.
Earlier, Luke Hume brought an enthralling Plate semifinal to a close with a dramatic last-minute try, with the decisive conversion being kicked by Shalom Suniula to win 21-19.
Scotland beat the other Pacific island side, Samoa, 21-17 with Colin Gregor, the man to have played in every minute of every match this season with the decisive try.
England recorded a second victory over Argentina at the 2013 Tokyo Sevens to lift a second successive Bowl title and eight points to their Series tally. Dan Norton scored twice to take his tournament tally to 10 as Ben Ryan's side won 38-0.
Norton earlier scored a second successive hat-trick and Christian Lewis-Pratt kicked a decisive conversion as England dramatically beat Wales 21-19 while Argentina booked their place after Valentin Cruz made a last-minute try-saving tackle to prevent Kenya overturning a 12-10 deficit.
Earlier, Agustin Migliore scored the opening try of day two as Los Pumas beat Canada 7-5. Norton scored his first hat-trick against Portugal to book England's place in the semifinal. Last week's finalists Wales narrowly beat the hosts 22-14.
Canada came from 7-0 behind to beat hosts Japan to lift the Shield and claim three vital Series points. Having lost to the hosts 14-10 on day one, Geraint John's side were able to reverse the result on day two with Sean Duke crossing for four tries.
Six different players scored for Canada as they beat Spain 38-0 to reach the Shield final. Katsuyuki scored a dramatic try for the hosts Japan to book their place in the final after beating Portugal 19-15.
All the results from Tokyo:
South Africa 24-19 New Zealand
Australia 31-7 France
South Africa 14-12 France
New Zealand 35-17 Australia
France 14-10 Scotland
South Africa 19-12 Samoa
New Zealand 19-12 USA
Australia 21-12 Fiji
USA 17-0 Scotland
Scotland 21-17 Samoa
USA 21-19 Fiji
England 38-0 Argentina
England 21-19 Wales
Argentina 12-10 Kenya
Wales 22-14 Japan
England 40-0 Portugal
Kenya 17-5 Canada
Argentina 14-0 Spain
Canada 27-14 Japan
Japan 19-15 Portugal
Canada 38-0 Spain