The Springbok Sevens team on Sunday did a Paris double by not only winning the HSBC Paris Sevens, but in the process clinched a consecutive HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title. Coach Neil Powell was also named men’s Coach of the Series at the World Rugby Sevens Series Awards last night. Read our interview with him last year here) on Sunday night.
The win in Paris, where the Blitzboks also won last year, saw them move past Fiji on the overall standings.
Fiji held a seven-point lead with the last tournament to go, but faltered on Day Two, losing in the quarterfinals to England.
This opened a window of opportunity to the Blitzboks, who kicked the door wide open with a 24-14 win in the final against England.
The team made all ten semifinals during the series. They won in Dubai and Paris, were losing finalists in Sydney, Hamilton and London. They won bronze in Cape Town, Vancouver and Hong Kong and placed fourth in Las Vegas and Singapore.
Most points for a South African in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series:
1. Cecil Afrika 1430
2. Branco du Preez 1162
3. Seabelo Senatla 1120
The Springbok Sevens team defended their HSBC Paris Sevens crown won last here at the Stade Jean Bouin against England on Sunday after beating Spain and New Zealand on the way to the final.
The Blitzboks needed an extra time try by Justin Geduld against Spain to edge the Europeans 15-10 and then delivered a much stronger performance against New Zealand, winning 24-12.
The Blitzboks lost Seabelo Senatla in the Spain match due to a groin injury and Rhyno Smith, who joined the squad just before the tournament, slotted in.
The final standings for 2017/18:
1. South Africa 182
2. Fiji 180
3. New Zealand 150
4. Australia 123
5. England 122