It wasn’t a great day for the African teams on the second day of the Cape Town Sevens, with the favourites South Africa losing in the semi-finals and Kenya and Uganda playing off for 13th place.
The Blitzboks narrowly beat surprise packages Canada 19-12 in the bronze medal match, after they were stunned by old foes New Zealand 19-12 in the semi-finals of the Cup competition.
New Zealand went on to the win the tournament when they beat Argentina 38-14 in the final. The All Black Sevens side now lead the World Rugby Sevens Series with 41 points, with South Africa in second place on 39.
The Blitzboks need to find a way to deal with the pressure of playing at home, after they failed to win their home tournament for a second year in a row despite going into in to the event as the overwhelming favourites. They lost to England in the final in 2016.
The home side didn’t defend with the same sort of aggression that helped them clinch the title in Dubai last week, as both Fiji and the All Blacks punched holes in the Blitzboks’ defence in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively.
The Boks managed to get past Fiji in the last eight with a thrilling 31-26 win thanks to a late Seabelo Senatla try, but didn’t show the composure in the last-four clash that won them the Sevens World Series last season.
New Zealand’s win is a massive platform from which to build on for the Kiwis after struggling to regularly compete with South Africa and Fiji over the last few years.
Kenya had a rather disastrous campaign, failing to make the cup quarters when they lost to France on day one. They then started off day two with a 19-15 defeat against Samoa, before beating Scotland in the 13th place semi-final.
Kenya, though, got one over neighbours Uganda in the 13th-place playoff, after the Cranes managed to get their first win of the tournament against Russia (28-19) in the semi-finals.
Uganda started off the day with a heavy defeat to the Australia in the morning session.