The Blitzbokke won their second consecutive tournament by beating the All Blacks 28-21 in the final of the Glasgow Sevens tournament.
This victory follows a win in Tokyo last month and makes South Africa the only team in the series to have won three tournaments, following an earlier win in Las Vegas.
The win could not stop New Zealand from taking the series, with South Africa likely to finish second. Fiji can still overhaul South Africa, but to do that they will need to win the last tournament in London with the BlitzBokke failing to make the Cup quarter-finals.
Commenting on the win, Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu was quick to congratulate New Zealanders: “They were the most consistent team this year and that is why they are the overall champions, so it is well deserved to them” .
With regards to his side’s tournament victory, Treu paid tribute to his players.
“We arrived here without two of our playmakers (Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika), but this just made the remaining players in the squad much more determined. We had to nurse a couple of players through this tournament, so it is very rewarding to see their hard work paying off.”
The final was a tense affair. The Blitzbokke started well with a great try by Seabelo Senatla, but the Kiwis scored from the restart to even things out again. They then took the lead with a well-worked try (14-7) and at the half-time break, Treu’s team talk seem to inspire.
“The coach reminded us to what our strong points are and urged us to execute that. He asked us to play minute to minute doing what we do best. We did that and it worked for us,” captain Frankie Horne said afterwards.
Tries to Steven Hunt and Philip Snyman followed, and when Cornal Henricks scored, it seemed as if the title was won. A late try by New Zealand set up a classic finish, though, but the South African defence held.
Earlier, they outclassed USA in the Cup quarters, beating them 22-5. Chris Dry, Senatla (2) and Paul Delport all scored tries.
In the semi-final two breakaway tries by Senatla set-up the win against England.
South Africa: Tries: Seabelo Senatla, Steven Hunt, Philip Snyman, Cornal Hendricks, Conversions: Snyman (4)
New Zealand: Tries: Lote Raikabula, Kurt Baker, Trinity Spooner-Neera, Conversions: Tomasi Cama (3)
South Africa 22 United States 5
Fiji 12 England 15
Wales 26 Canada 7
New Zealand 42 Argentina 10
South Africa 24 England 17
Wales 14 New Zealand 26
Shield final: Russia 17 France 21
Bowl final: Australia 12 Kenya 5
Plate final: United States 17 Argentina 7
Third-place match: England 24 Wales 21
Cup final: South Africa 28 New Zealand 21