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tinyfav.com December 14, 2017


Blitzboks beat New Zealand to win the Dubai Sevens

03 December 2017, 01:45 | Percy Christensen

VICTORY Sevens Blitzboks coach Neil Powell

VICTORY Sevens Blitzboks coach Neil Powell

South Africa successfully defended their Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens title after beating New Zealand 24-12 in the opening round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018.

But a dominant first half for France had England on the backfoot in their second outing, though Norton dashed the length of the field to wrestle back the advantage come the end of the first period.

The Kiwis had remained unbeaten in pool play and through the quarter and semi- finals at the season-opening Dubai Sevens, but never really recovered from a storming South African start in the final.

Despite doing well to keep the ball in the second half, Shujaa finally bowed to pressure as All Blacks used the chance they got to turn over in a try that was awarded to them after a video review. Scott Curry and Andrew Knewstubb got the All Blacks Sevens back into the match, but at 19-12 it was the powerful Tim Agaba who closed the game out.

"We kind of let them back into the game and a silly yellow card and one or two silly mistakes towards the end nearly cost us", Snyman said after the final.

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Points from the first two tournaments of the series will be added to teams' totals in 2016-17 to determine seedings at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco next July.

Smith was named player of the final for his hard-working efforts but he was quick to pass the praise on to his teammates.

"We deliberately didn't put the guys into anything like this in pre-season as it's such a long season for us so it was always going to be a little bit of a risk".

They faced the challenge of New Zealand, who followed a 14-12 quarter-final win over Kenya by then overcoming England 14-5 in the last four.



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