Blitzboks successfully defend crown in Cape Town

Cape Town, Dec 13, 2015: South Africa beat Argentina to lift the inaugural HSBC Cape Town Sevens, and a third successive Cup victory on home soil having won the 2013 and 2014 Port Elizabeth Sevens.

In the final the Blitzboks came from 7-0 behind to win 29-14 thanks to tries from Rosko Specman (2), Seabelo Senatla (2) and Ryno Benjamin against a Los Pumas side appearing in their first final since the 2009 USA Sevens in San Diego.

Earlier, Juan de Jongh, Specman and Philip Snyman scored for Neil Powell’s side in their 21-12 semi-final win over France.

The result puts South Africa second in the series with 35 points behind Fiji (35), who won the Plate by beating the USA 29-19, on points difference. Mike Friday’sUSA sit third (29), while Santiago Gomez Cora’s Argentina are fourth (29), also on points difference.

It was an enthralling day of sevens to end the weekend where 106,202 fans turned out over the two days at the Cape Town Stadium, with the entertainment hitting the heights many suggested were last seen at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai.

France, who were 11th overall last season, finished third beating Kenya 28-26 with a last-minute try and conversion from Julien Candelon and Terry Bouhraoua, while none of the Dubai Sevens Cup semi-finalists made it to the same stage a week later.

In the quarter-finals France beat Fiji, South Africa proved too strong for Australia and Argentina defeated New Zealand for only the sixth time and first since 2006, with a dramatic sudden-death extra-time drop-goal penalty from Bautista Ezcurra. Mike Friday suffered defeat to his old side as two tries apiece from Collins Injera and Willy Ambaka were enough for Kenya to beat USA 26-10.

There was similar entertainment in the semi-finals as Frank Wanyama set up a nailbiting finish in Kenya’s defeat to Argentina. Having scored out wide to bring the scores to 24-22, Biko Adema had a chance to take the match to extra time but his conversion hit the post for Los Pumas to survive by the skin of their teeth. —- worldrugby

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