South Africa has claimed victory in the Sydney Sevens rugby tournament with a dominant 29-14 victory over England at Allianz Stadium.
After losing to England earlier in the tournament in the pool stage, the Blitzboks stepped up a gear in the final by running in five tries.
The win is the Blitzboks’ second consecutive World Rugby Sevens Series triumph and third from four this season.
England’s passage to the final came with victory against Argentina in the quarters and a come-from-behind 12-5 triumph over New Zealand in the semis.
South Africa enjoyed an easier road to the decider by blasting past Argentina before eliminating Australia 26-12 with Seabelo Senatla starring.
It’s a celebratory moment tinged with some sadness for Senatla who departs the Blitzboks with a second consecutive player of the final award before linking up with Super Rugby franchise, the Stormers.
“It is incredible. The guys are just magicians, hats off to them, I am just the finisher of the moves,” Senatla said.
“It is bitter sweet, we play here with family so it is a pity to be leaving the family but it’s a new challenge I am excited for.
Meanwhile, Australia had to settle for fourth place after a heavy 29-14 defeat to New Zealand in the Bronze Medal match.
The hosts suffered from a lack of possession early in the match and the Kiwis capaitalised by turning it into a 12-0 lead which effectively ended the contest.
Debutant Lachie Anderson provided some hope with his first ever World Series career try but New Zealand quickly regained the ascendancy on their way to a well deserved 15 point victory.
Andy Friend was happy with his young sides performances and highlighted their improvement considering they had nine players with less than three international caps.
“I’m really proud of them, and the first-timers all impressed me,” he said. “They showed some really special touches and it wasn’t through lack of effort that we didn’t get further.”
“Sevens is about being physically fit and mentally fit and they got put in some positions they’ve never been in before. We had bodies behind the scenes that were pretty sore and pretty broken but they got themselves up, and that’s part of being a Sevens player.
“You’ve got to learn to deal with that and the longer they’re in the program, the better.”
The event was a rousing success with 75,412 fans passing through the Allianz Stadium gates to watch Australia’s men move into 6th position overall leading into the next event in Las Vegas.
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Standings (after four rounds): 1. South Africa 85pts 2. England 68pts 3. Fiji 64pts 4. New Zealand 56pts 5. Scotland 45pts 6. Australia 40pts 7. Wales 40pts 8. USA 35pts 9. Argentina 35pts 10. France 35pts 11. Kenya 27pts 12. Canada 24pts 13. Samoa 16pts 14. Russia 16pts 15. Japan 8pts 16. Uganda 4pts 17. Papua New Guinea 2pts.