South Africa retains USA sevens title

South Africa narrowly defeated New Zealand in the final of the Las Vegas round of the IRB world sevens circuit.

    South Africa celebrates winning the US Rugby Sevens tournament cup match in Las Vegas [AFP]
    South Africa celebrates winning the US Rugby Sevens tournament cup match in Las Vegas [AFP]

    South Africa successfully defended its title in the United States round of the IRB world sevens circuit, beating series champions New Zealand 14-7 in the final.

    Scott Curry scored a try to give New Zealand an early lead in the final but tries by Branco du Preez and Werner Kok gave South Africa its fifth-straight win over New Zealand.

    They all played for each other. Just the way they showed the commitment was tremendous. There is still a long way to go to keep us at the top

    Neil Powell, South Africa sevens coach

    South Africa conceded only 14 points in its matches at the tournament, reaching the final with a 14-0 win over 2010 and 2012 tournament champions Samoa.

    Afterwards, a jubilant South Africa Sevens coach, Neil Powell said: "It was very intense and what a gutsy performance that was from the guys.

    "They all played for each other. Just the way they showed the commitment was tremendous. There is still a long way to go to keep us at the top."

    Under the guidance of Powell, who took over the coaching duties from long-serving Paul Treu at the beginning of the season, South Africa have now reached three Cup Finals in a row this season, winning titles in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas.

    South Africa's victory lifted it to a one-point lead over New Zealand on overall standings after four of nine rounds.

    The next tournament is in New Zealand on 7th-8th February.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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