Mon, Dec 08, 2008 - Page 19 News List

S Africa beats N Zealand for a second sevens title

AFP , GEORGE, SOUTH AFRICA

Hosts South Africa captured their second title of this season’s IRB World Sevens Series when they beat New Zealand 12-7 in a thrilling final here on Saturday. It was South Africa’s first win on home soil and their second victory in the Cup competition after triumphing against England in the final in Dubai last weekend.

After trailing New Zealand 5-7 at the break, South Africa scored a late try through captain Mzwandile Stick to secure the win. New Zealand were the stronger side in the opening half, but resolute South African defense restricted the All Blacks to just a single score, a converted try by DJ Forbes.

South Africa narrowed the gap to two points by the interval after Renfred Dazel crossed in the corner.

They upped their game in the second period and thought they’d scored the winning try with just minutes remaining, but the assistant referee ruled Gio Aplon had knocked the ball on inside the in-goal area. From the resulting scrum, South Africa won a tight-head after a New Zealand put-in, and the loose ball was snapped up by Stick who dived over from close range. He converted the try to give his side a five-point advantage.

South Africa advanced to the final after beating Fiji in the semifinals, while New Zealand got the better of Argentina.

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