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South Africa set up triumphal Cape Town return with a fifth tournament win in a row at Dubai to kick off their HSBC SVNS 2024 campaign in emphatic style
Selvyn Davids pulled the strings as defending champions South Africa beat Argentina 12-7 in a thumping encounter to claim their fifth straight Emirates Dubai 7s title and kick off their HSBC SVNS 2024 campaign in emphatic style.
Impi Visser had already crossed for the Blitzboks when Shilton van Wyk, player of the final in 2022, went over in the fifth minute to take the score to 12-0.
Argentina’s Matías Osadczuk cut the deficit to five points early in the second half, after Ryan Oosthuizen was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle.
Rosko Specman came within inches of a spectacular score, but lost the ball – and ploughed into a steward – in the corner, as South Africa held off the Argentinian fightback.
With the series heading to South Africa next week, their run to the title in Dubai could not have come at a better time. Fans will be hoping they can go back to back in Cape Town next weekend.
Winning difficult matches is a defining characteristic of champions – and South Africa set up a shot at a fifth straight title with a high-intensity 14-7 win over Fiji in the Cup semi-finals.
The defending Dubai champions had kicked off finals day – after that remarkable comeback win over New Zealand on day one – with a comfortable 24-7 quarter-final win over Australia.
Marcos Moneta – who else? – scored twice as Argentina came from 14-0 down to win their quarter-final against Samoa 21-14, and set up a semi-final with New Zealand.
In the semi-final, evergreen 37-year-old Gastón Revol, in his 99th sevens tournament, was the try hero for Argentina as they came from behind to beat New Zealand 21-19 to reach their first-ever final in Dubai.
BRONZE FINAL: All Blacks leave it late to bag bronze
Fehi Fineanganofo stepped and burst through two defenders to score the bronze final-winning touchdown as New Zealand beat Fiji 17-12 at the end of a tense encounter that would have graced the final.
It was another tight encounter for the All Blacks Sevens – five of their six matches decided by a margin of five points or fewer.
The match looked to be heading into golden point territory, with the clock ticking down the final seconds as the All Blacks Sevens spun the ball wide to Fineanganafo, who still had some work to do to get the ball down.
A slow-burn of a first-half had burst into life just before half-time, as Fiji captain Joseva Talacolo and New Zealand’s Akuila Rokolisoa traded tries. Cody Vai and Manueli Maisamoa then traded second-half scores, with the decisive touchdown coming on the cusp of full time.
Ireland bag valuable HSBC SVNS points
Levi Milford scored for Samoa on the last play of their fifth-place play-off against Ireland. It wasn’t enough to win the match – Ireland winning 28-7 to kick off their HSBC SVNS 2024 campaign with useful points.
Great Britain were unable to repeat their remarkable victory over Fiji on the opening day, finishing 10th after losing the ninth-place play-off against France 22-0.
An enthralling 11th-place play-off between Spain and Canada, two sides who were yet to record a win when they met as the sun sank over the horizon in Dubai, ended 19-14 in the Spaniards’ favour.
Team and individual records tumble as Australia end New Zealand’s winning streak to claim a record fourth crown at Dubai
Teagan Levi touched down either side of half-time as Australia ended New Zealand’s 41-match winning streak to claim their fourth consecutive title in Dubai, as the HSBC SVNS 2024 got off to an electric start.
The match kicked off at an astonishing speed – and did not let up. Bienne Tarita scored the opening try with just 23 seconds on the clock to set Australia on the road to the title in the 23rd final meeting between the two sides.
But the Black Ferns Sevens made it difficult for the champions. Jorja Miller touched down twice in the first five minutes en route to a hat-trick in a losing cause, before Maddison Levi settled the tournament in the closing minutes.
Australia got to the final the hard way. They toughed out a difficult semi against France, despite a red card for Alysia Lefau-Fakasosilea three energy-sapping minutes from time, winning 21-14 courtesy of Maddison Levi’s record-equalling 11th tournament try.
Earlier, Kelly Brazier’s long-awaited 100th try for New Zealand – she became the third Black Ferns Sevens player to reach that milestone – came at just the right time as they beat Brazil 26-14 in the opening quarter-final.
They then beat Canada 21-19 in the semi-final to set up a repeat of last season’s final against Australia.
BRONZE FINAL: Ambitious France claim third, but want more
Yolaine Yengo scored a first-half hat-trick, and Lou Noel added the wrapping early in the second period as France gave themselves an early Christmas present by beating Canada for the second time in Dubai to secure third place by winning the bronze final 26-5.
The comprehensive win – the match was long over when Olivia Apps crossed for Canada’s consolation try a minute from time – was the first time Les Bleues have beaten Canada in a bronze final in five attempts.
Fiji end Dubai campaign on a high
Ilisapeci Dalaiwau raced in for the golden-point touchdown as Fiji beat Ireland 24-19 to claim fifth place at the end of an entertaining, error-strewn match.
USA, meanwhile, grabbed eight vital HSBC SVNS 2024 series points, with a 38-7 win over Brazil to claim victory in the seventh place play-off.
Japan and South Africa finished ninth and 10th respectively, after a hard-fought play-off ended 12-5. And Great Britain had been surprisingly shut-out by Japan in the ninth-place semi-final earlier on finals day, but recovered to come back from 12-0 down against Spain in the 11th-place play-off to win 26-12, and claim two series points.