The South African Sevens team failed to defend their USA Sevens title early this morning when they lost to arch-rivals New Zealand in the first Cup Semi-final.
South Africa, who finished the pool stages unbeaten and eliminated Argentina 24-5 in the quarterfinals, made too many errors against their traditional rivals New Zealand in the Cup Semi-finals (20 – 7). They were later denied any consolation bragging-rights by Fiji in the 3rd place play-off (21 – 15).
South Africa eventually finished in fourth position at the tournament at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
If the BlitzBokke want to put their stamp on the final four tournaments of the HSBC Sevens World Series, what happened in Vegas this weekend, had better stay in Vegas.
The Kiwis subsequently advanced to the Cup Final where they lost to Samoa in an exciting see-saw match. The Samoans had to pull a last proverbial rabbit from their hats in the gambling city, when they scored the winner in the final play of the match. Samoa beat New Zealand 26-19 in a thrilling Cup Final to deny the current World Series champions a third successive tournament title this season.
An emotional Samoa coach Stephan Betham said: “It is been a long time and these boys have been working so hard and I couldn’t stop a tear or two rolling down my cheeks.”
“The boys really deserve it and they owe it to the people back home and the fans here in Vegas. It has been a long time since our last Cup victory.” he beamed.
Disappointed Springbok coach Paul Treu tweeted this early today:
Despite their defeat, the Blitzbokke managed to leap-frog England to third overall on the HSBC Sevens World Series log with 76 points. England, who was in 3rd position before the Vegas Sevens, lost to Argentina in the Plate Final and is now in forth position, 2 points behind the Springboks.
The HSBC Sevens World Series log after Las Vegas
The final results on match day three in Las Vegas:
Bowl Final: France 22, Scotland 7
Shield Final: Canada 19, Australia 17
Plate Final: Kenya 21, Argentina 7
Third Place Playoff: Fiji 21, South Africa 15
Cup Final: Samoa 26, New Zealand 19.
After a short break, the HSBC Sevens World Series moves on to Asia, where Hong Kong hosts the 6th leg on 23-25 March, followed by Japan a week later, 31 March to 1 April.
Thanks to Marele Joubert Strydom who sent us the following images of the Springbok fans at the Sam Boyd Stadium: