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Mon, 9 Dec 2019

South Africa Beat New Zealand to Win Dubai Sevens

South Africa ended a run of three defeats against New Zealand to win a seventh Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens title on Saturday.

South Africa lead the standings after the first of ten events in a season that culminates in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan with 22 points, ahead of New Zealand and bronze medalists England.

The first cup final meeting between the two nations since South Africa triumphed 24-12 in the desert back in 2017, looked to be heading for a scoreless first half after Chris Dry knocked on in the act of scoring and then Zain Davids was held up over the line.

South Africa ended a run of three defeats against New Zealand to win a seventh Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens title on Saturday. South Africa lead the standings after the first of ten events in a season that culminates in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan with 22 points, ahead of New Zealand and bronze medalists England. Click to enlarge.

However, from the resulting scrum, and with only two seconds showing on the clock, South Africa swung the ball quickly left to create just enough space for captain Siviwe Soyizwapi to go over in the corner to earn some reward for the long spells they had spent in the All Blacks Sevens 22.

South Africa's kick-off at the start of the second half was booted back with interest by Tim Mikkelson playing in his 41st Cup final on the series but Rosko Specman kicked and chased, forcing Kurt Baker to take the ball back over his line. From the resulting scrum, the Blitzboks kept possession and eventually worked Dry over on the left for a 10-0 lead.

The score remained that way until the final minute when Seabeloa Senatla scooped up the ball and sprinted away to wrap up a first victory over the All Blacks 7s for almost a year.

The teams now move onto Cape Town for round two of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 next weekend, where Fiji are the defending champions after beating USA in the final last year. Fiji finished ninth in Dubai, their lowest ever placing there in series history.

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

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