South Africa beat New Zealand to win Tokyo Sevens

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    South Africa captured their second title of the season on Sunday when they stunned World Series leaders New Zealand 24-19 in the final to win the Tokyo Sevens.

    It was a repeat performance for South Africa, following their 40-21 victory over New Zealand in the fifth round of the Sevens World Series in the United States last month.

    South Africa went into the break trailing 12-0, but rallied early in the second half.

    Branco du Preez scored nine points from three conversions and a penalty, while Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla and Cornal Hendricks scored a try each.

    “It is unbelievable,” said South Africa coach Paul Treu.

    “For us we have been so unlucky throughout the year. To come back again after a disappointing tournament in Hong Kong, to bounce back and give a performance like that, it is not every day you beat New Zealand twice in the final. It is good momentum going into the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow,” he added.

    Earlier in the day, South Africa took a 19-12 quarter-finals win against Samoa — who are close rivals in the overall standings — and went on to beat France 14-12 in the semi-finals.

    Defending Tokyo Sevens champions Australia, who lost to New Zealand 35-17 in the semi-finals, finished in third place beating France 31-7 in a play-off.

    In the overall standings after the seventh leg of the nine-round series, New Zealand kept the lead on 132 points, while South Africa moved up to second on 100 points. Fiji were third on 98 points and Samoa fourth on 94 points.

    © AFP 2017
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