Cape Town – The Blitzboks have defended their World Rugby Seven Series crown by beating England in the final of the Paris Sevens.
South Africa ran out 24-14 winners in a tense encounter played in rainy conditions.
The Blitzboks started impressively, carrying the ball through a number of phases until Werner Kok cut inside, beating three defenders in the process to score a converted try and give South Africa a 7-0 lead.
England hit back straight from the kick-off with speedster Dan Norton getting away from the Blitzbok defence before feeding Oliver Lindsay-Hague for a converted try.
Norton then scored a try of his own, converted by Tom Mitchell to give England a 14-7 with a minute left in the half.
But the Blitzboks were not done, scoring a try through Dylan Oosthuizen a full two minutes after the first-half hooter sounded. Justin Geduld landed a brilliant conversion to see the teams locked at 14-14 at half-time.
Dewald Human saw the Blitzboks off to the best possible start in the second half, scoring a try which was converted by Geduld for a 21-14 lead.
Such was South Africa’s desperation to win that Geduld then opted to kick at goal for when England were penalized in their own 22m area. He was successful, putting the score out to 24-14.
And they hung on for the next three minutes to claim the Paris Sevens and ultimate glory.