Mon, Apr 06, 2009 - Page 20 News List

S Africa retain their Adelaide title

AFP , ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

South Africa’s Chase Minnaar, center, is tackled by Kenya players during their International Rugby Sevens Cup final in Adelaide, Australia, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

South Africa successfully defended their Adelaide Sevens title with a convincing 26-7 win over Kenya in the final yesterday.

The South Africans controlled the first all-African IRB Sevens Cup final to avenge their 15-14 loss to Kenya in their pool game on Friday’s opening night.

South Africa stretched their lead to 28 points in the IRB World Sevens Series over England ahead of the two remaining legs in England and Scotland.

With 104 points, the Springboks now lead the race for the series from England on 76, with Fiji (74), Argentina (68) and New Zealand (64) most likely now all vying for second place.

The Springboks, who ended New Zealand’s 47-match unbeaten run to clinch the Adelaide title last year, scored four tries to one and led 14-7 at halftime.

South Africa won their way into the final with a 21-10 victory over Hong Kong champions Fiji in the semi-final, while Kenya downed World Cup runners-up Argentina 17-5 in their semi-final.

The Springboks took early ascendancy when Robert Ebersohn scored in the opening 25 seconds of the final after evading two tacklers.

Kenya equalized with 3 minutes, 45 seconds left in the opening half through Humphrey Kayange, finishing off a break from Innocent Simiyu.

But South Africa regained the advantage with two minutes left in the half when Vuyo Zangqa was set up by Ryno Benjamin.

The South Africans kept the free-running Kenyans in check with a well-organized defense and they kicked away to a 19-7 lead with 2 minutes, 37 seconds left when Benjamin dummied before outpacing the Kenyan cover to the corner.

Renfred Dazel sealed victory with a chip-and-chase try that he converted in the final seconds.

England, who lost 40-0 to Fiji in the Cup quarter-final, won the Plate final, fighting off an Australian comeback from 5-19 down to win 24-19 in extra-time.

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