South Africa claim Wellington Sevens title

South Africa claim Wellington Sevens title

South Africa won gold for the second time this season, defeating Fiji in the final of the Wellington Sevens

tom-hiscott
Tom Hiscott

South Africa have taken control of top spot in the World Sevens Series rankings after defeating Fiji 26-5 to claim the Wellington Sevens crown.

The Blitzboks have now won two of the three legs so far this season, following on from their victory in Dubai, and look to be the team to beat when the series heads to Sydney next weekend. 

South Africa's win was their first in Wellington since 2002, and bought to an end the hosts dominance, with New Zealand having won at The Cake Tin over the past three years. 

Senatla creates history to provide Boks with strong start

Having won all five of their matches on their route to the final, including a group stage victory over Fiji, South Africa were the overwhelming favourites to claim the Wellington title.

However it was their opponents who came out of the blocks fastest, and following a strong defensive set, the ball was shipped wide to Joeli Lutumailagi who showed a clean pair of heels to speed past Seabelo Senatla for the game's opening try. 

Seabelo Senatla is now up to 180 Sevens Series tries for South Africa (image source: Ragahouse.com)
Seabelo Senatla is now up to 180 Sevens Series tries for South Africa (image source: Ragahouse.com)

Senatla was not to be outdone though, and with Setareki Bituniyati in the sin bin following a high tackle, the South African flyer took advantage to score his 180th Sevens Series try to move top of the try scoring charts for his country. 

Bench proves vital as Boks claim Wellington title

With the gap just two points going into the second half, the first score after halftime was always likely to be vital and it proved to be that way with Rosko Specman capitalising on a Senatla break to extend South Africa's advantage to nine points. 

With Fiji trying to force things to get back into the game, mistakes in their own territory cost them and South Africa were good enough to capitalise on them with substitute Ruhan Nel twice crossing the line to add some gloss to the scoreline. 

South Africa's defence has been outstanding so far this season, and by conceding just four tries all weekend it was no surprise that they walked away with the title. The 26-5 result in the final did not flatter Neil Powell's team who will head to Australia for the fourth leg of the season as favourites once more where they will hope Senatla is at his best once more before he heads to Super Rugby

Scots claim third to join England in top four of overall standings

The strong start to the season for sides from Great Britain continued in Wellington, with England, Scotland and Wales now all ranked in the top six this season. 

It was Scotland who enjoyed the best of the Wellington soil as they finished with a bronze medal. Following a 14-12 quarter-final win over England, they got over the disappointment of a semi-final defeat to the Fijians by seeing off Canada in the third-place playoff, with James Fleming grabbing a hat-trick in the 28-22 victory. 

Canada themselves enjoyed a strong weekend, and a massive improvement on their performances over the first two legs, while Kenya won the Challenge Trophy thanks to a 19-7 win over Australia who will host next weekend's leg at Allianz Stadium.

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